Leeds Festival 2010 – Saturday 28th August

It’s a jammed packed start to Saturday with both  Motion City Soundtrack and The King Blues‘ main stage slots providing a bright and upbeat start to the day. Next on, and although Thrice are notoriously poorly suited to the main stage (Leeds 2004 anyone?) they gave it their best. The more casual fans will complain about the lack of ‘The Artist in the Ambulance’ or ‘Deadbolt’, with the band instead favouring material from latest effort Beggars and former-glory Vheissu, providing moments of atmospheric calm amongst a hectic bill.

All Time Low produced exactly what you’d expect from them; a set of bouncy pop punk with ‘Weighless’ and ‘Dear Maria’ being obvious standouts. However Blink 182 have no need to worry being replaced on the banter stakes – All Time Low’s attempts coming across mediocre and adolescent in comparison. Across in the NME, local lads Wild Beasts didn’t quite win me over; dare I suggest they were a little bit dull to anyone new to them? Thankfully you can always guarantee that  Limp Bizkit will provided the musical eqivalent of a stern kick up the arse. Opening with ‘Rollin’, followed by ‘My Generation’ and later ‘Break Stuff’ – whilst Durst and co may have long lost any credibility, you can’t help but give into that early noughties nostalgia – even if only for 30 minutes. Closing with ‘Faith’ was sublime, Fred Durst’s choice of headwear wasn’t.

Back in the NME, and Bloc Party might as well have played Leeds for a fourth consecutive year, with frontman Kele Okereke not only including a medley of ‘Blue Light’, ‘One More Chance’ and ‘The Prayer’ mid-set, but also closing his so-called solo show with ‘Flux’. No doubt we’ll be seeing you again next year – in some form or another.

Sadly there’s only time to hear ‘Factory’ from the always impressive Band Of Horses, before it’s time to scurry across to the main stage for Weezer. Having waited more than seven Leeds Festivals for them to play, whilst there was never any doubt as to how much I would enjoy them, Rivers Cuomo proved he is more mental than I, or anyone, could have ever imagined. Barely standing still throughout a hit laden set, which drew generously from what has become known as ‘The Blue Album’, including ‘My Name Is Jonas’, ‘Undone (The Sweater Song), ‘Surf Wax America’, ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and of course, ‘Buddy Holly’, the frontman was a joy to watch. Whether running into the crowd, climbing barriers, bouncing on his onstage trampoline or sporting a blonde wig whilst covering ‘Poker Face’ there really is no other frontman like him – who’d thought the biggest nerd in rock could be so lively?!  A cover of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ scored well for sheer humour, as did their cover of MGMT’s ‘Kids’.

Following such a strong act was always going be tough for Paramore, but showing up 20 minutes later, and then playing a stingy 30 minutes set – ended by a passing “See you in November” tease ahead of the band’s UK arena tour, did very little to impress. Only a few years a go they opened this stage and on this performance it’s hard to see why their ascension has been so rapid. Must try harder.

Paramore could certainly learn a lot from headliners Blink 182 -who despite never being the tighest of bands, compensated by giving the crowd exactly what they wanted; 90 minutes of their biggest hits and endless array of their trademark leude humour. Did anyone go and see Klaxons?! It certainly didn’t seem like it, Blink drawing the biggest crowd of the weekend as hits such as ‘The Rock Show’, ‘What’s My Age Again’, ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Dammit’ all delivered. “Thank you Jedward for letting  us cover your song” was a nice touch following ‘All The Small Things’, and Travis Barker’s solo whilst on a fully rotating drum riser was equally ridiculous and phenomenal. They may now be old enough to be your dads (Tom Delonge looking a little chubbier as he slumps into midlife) but they still know how to throw one hell of a party.

Coming tomorrow:  A Day To Remember and  Billy Talent double bill on the main stage,  NOFX tell some completely inappropriate but hilarious jokes, and just how bad Guns N’ Roses?.

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