Neck Deep / Eliza And The Bear / Panic! At The Disco / Don Broco /
All Time Low / Bastille / Limp Bizkit / New Found Glory / Mumford & Sons
Neck Deep (7)
Fresh off the back off a long warped tour, Next Deep look ready to kick off the main stage. There is quite a bit of hype for these guys with a top 10 album under their belts this month, and they seem to have overcome the hurdle of the recent allegations to guitarist Lloyd Roberts, which found him leaving the band just last week. But that doesn’t seem to have caused too much of a problem, in fact, it seems to have fuelled the fire for Neck Deep, as they play one of the rowdiest shows we’ve seen on this stage so early in the day.
It’s safe to say Neck Deep really are flying the flag at the moment in the UK with their new album ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’, however the Wrexham lads only include ‘Gold Steps’ and Can’t Kick Up The Roots’ from the new album, leaving the short set filled with Neck Deep classics such as ‘Loosing Teeth’ A Part Of Me’ and the set closer ‘Over and Over’ which sees the band really get everyone warmed up in the sun and ready to take on a day full of amazing bands.
Eliza & the bear (7) –
If any band was made for festivals, Eliza and the bear are right up their amongst the best. With an arsenal of festival sing alongs they have no problem creating a big atmosphere in the festival Republic tent, even with an early crowd who you would expect to seem a little difficult to wake up after a hard night of partying. However nothing gives us the summer feeling more than the set opener ‘Friends’ with it’s huge chorus to pull everyone together, and has no problem getting the tent singing and dancing along from the start.
A short but sweet set with tracks such as ‘Make It On My Own’ and ‘light It Up’ packed in, we can’t help but feel this is a band that we will be hearing a lot more of in the next year, and we expect to see them back here on the NME once their debut album is released early next year. Until then, were left wanting more with the set closer ‘The Southern Wild’ with its pounding drums and jolly summery tune. Grab us a beer and takes us out into the sun, were ready to take on a day of festival favourites!
Panic! At the disco (8) –
We arrive to the main stage to be greeted by a fully charged Brendon Urie, bopping up and down at the forefront of the stage shining in the sun like a disco ball in his sparkly suit, to the energetic ‘Vegas Lights’, which sees an army of Panic fans at the barrier grinning and singing back to the frontman across the barrier. As the appropriately named ‘Time To Dance’ kicks in, festival goes flood into the arena to see what the fuss is about, just in time for a hair-raising performance of ‘The Ballard of Mona Lisa’ which seems to be a difficult to beat highlight of the day on the main stage for anyone else following with its upbeat summery chorus with everyone clapping jumping and singing along like they are watching festival headliners.
The set progresses with brand new track ‘Hallelujah’ and the incredible ‘Miss Jackson’ leaving us stood in surprise as we didn’t expect Panic At The Disco to throw a full throttle big set in our face this early on in the day. A rather impressive cover of Queens ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ goes down rather well with the Leeds crowd, and it’s a great card to play as it had everyone on the field involved, even those who aren’t too familiar with PATD. However it doesn’t get as an electric response as their set closer ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, which pretty much everyone stood on the main stage field, has been eagerly waiting for from the start. And it was one worth sticking around for as Brendon ends the set dancing his way through a confident performance by the band, who sound amazing through the main stage with the bass and guitars thundering out of the speakers behind the frontman’s dominant vocals.
Another band that make a bold statement and announce themselves as a confident main stage act, and you can expect to see it again in the years to come for sure!
Don Broco (8) –
It was only 2 weeks ago when we saw these guys tearing club shows apart with their UK top 10 album ‘Automatic’ freshly released, and now they’re ready to take on the NME tent, 20 times bigger than the club venues they filled. Unfortunately due to a stage clash with PATD / ATL the majority have stuck around at the main stage leaving the NME only half full, but more room only means bigger, crazier mosh pits, and that’s exactly what Don Broco are all about. Circle pits, mosh pits and crowd surfers are out in full force, especially for ‘thug workout’ with the ‘push up squad’ representing in the Leeds crowd.
The Bedford boys pull out an energetic short and sweet set packed with both new and old material to please everyone, ‘Priorities’ and the trademark Broco walk goes down a treat as everyone joins in making the tent floor look like one big trampoline. ‘Superlove’ & ‘Automatic’ are clear favourites of the new material with the crowd today in particularly. The lads even sneaked in a cheeky cover of Fetty Wapp’s ‘Trap Queen’ to make the festival show that bit more special! Another solid performance from Don Broco, and we wouldn’t expect anything less!
All time low (9) –
All time low are no newbies to the Leeds main stage, these guys have become veterans for the big festival stages around the world, and armed with their newest album ‘future hearts’ they return to the UK especially for R&L festival, and you can tell these guys are as excited to see us as we are them!
The Baltimore band take the stage to the pounding drums of ‘Satellites’ with everyone singing out loud, then out of nowhere the place explodes into action with ‘Lost in Stereo’ finding the crowd bouncing as the band fly across the stage. Guitarist Jack Barakat cant be contained, he’s been wound up and let loose for the hour as he runs and jumps around the stage, before heading down to the barrier to play up close and pose for selfies with the ATL hard-core fans at the front!
Banter is out in full force as usual with Alex & Jack throwing some jokes and talking complete nonsense between songs which keeps the Leeds mainstage crowd smiling and laughing throughout the set. “We’re gonna change our band name to Yorkshire!” bellows Jack as the Yorkshire chant echoes across the main stage yet again.
Since touring with Greenday the guys have picked up a few tricks from the master of pop punk, with crowd participation and Alex pulling people out to fill the main stage for ‘time Bomb’ creating chaos, as well as jack putting his guitar on one lucky fan and helping them play along to the final chorus.
“I think that was the craziest crowd we’ve ever had on stage!” claims Alex before finishing the set off in style with ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ which ends with guitars fly high in the sky across stage and jack and Alex get into the crowd for very last chorus.
If the Leeds crowd wasn’t awake before, All Time Low have made damn sure everyone is on their toes today from now in!
Bastille (7) –
Bastille have already Concorde the Leeds crowd two year ago when they released their hit album ‘Bad Blood’ and this year they attempt to step it up to the main stage. But with little new material the hype for these guys has calmed drastically since 2013. However this hasn’t prevented a big turn out with people flooding in throughout the mighty opener ‘Things we lost in the Flames’. As the set progresses the crowd continues to grow through tracks such as ‘Bad blood’ & ‘Flaws’ which sees the frontman Dan getting into the crowd at the front to get everyone singing along.
The frontman leads the way into some new material to treat the Leeds crowd, which sounds fantastic to say the least. The new material feels like it’s been written both carefully and creatively and has that extra something in comparison to the older tracks. Were not completely sure what it is, but they now have a guitarist on stage which wasn’t the case on the first album, but that alone makes the live performance and new tracks feel full and more powerful. Yet some of the new tracks sunch as ‘Snakes’ are still signature Bastille songs with big choruses, and we can expect to hear a lot more of them later in the year.
Bastille join in on the karaoke fun with a great cover of ‘Srubs’ which goes down fantastically, and sounds brilliant as the band make it their own with their thunderous drums and unique sound. The Set closes strongly with ‘rhythm of the night’ seeing the frontman gets everyone to sit low before bouncing into action for the big chorus, before the bend announce this is their last show for a long time, as ‘Pompeii’ creates the highlight of the set with everyone on the field from front to back singing and clapping along to the song, which is perfect for the big festival moments like this.
2016 could be a massive year for Bastille if they play their cards right!
Limp Bizkit (10) –
Pretty much every band we have seen today have said at some point through their set “who’s going to see limp Bizkit tonight!?” Because let’s face it, it goes without saying Limp Bizkit hold high expectations for those familiar with them, and we are slightly concerned they are going to struggle to live up to them.
However stopping off in the UK on their massive world tour seeing them celebrate their 20th anniversary, we feel pretty stupid doubting them as Fred Durst strolls onto the stage asking “Are you ready to party like it’s 1999?” as they tear straight into ‘Rollin’ with the NME tent exploding into mosh pits with the whole floor bouncing from front to back!
Everything only gets crazier through ‘My Generation’ ‘My Way’ and ‘Nookie’ leaving the energetic Leeds crowd in a sweaty mess. They might be 20 years older since the start of the band, but the live performances have only got tighter and more impressive, with the frontman’s energy and guitarist Wes Borland shredding through some incredible riffs and solos over the hectic mixing decks.
Even though they only have an hour to squeeze in as many hits as they can, Fred Durst and the gang even managed to slip in a full throttle cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘killing in the name of.’ “If you can’t handle the heat, get the fuck out of the kitchen!” screams Fred Durst as more circle pits open up on the floor to the immense cover which sounded seamlessly good and went down incredibly well with the Leeds crowd.
The set couldn’t have finished stronger with the furious ‘break Stuff’ creating the biggest craziest mosh pits of the day, and even a wall of death for the breakdown. ‘Take a Look Around’ closes the night and if it had been possible, limp Bizkit would have blown the roof of this tent tonight. Act of the day by a long shot. Why did we even doubt them?
New found glory (7) –
Arguably the kings of pup punk, New Found Glory are a nice energetic alternative to tonight’s main stage headliners, so it’s no surprise to see the tent reasonably full awaiting the Florida quartet to hit the stage bouncing, and that’s exactly what happens as they fly onto the stage greeted by deafening roars. With only roughly an hour to pack 18 years of material in, The pop punks dive straight into the immense ‘Understatement’ which kicks off the show just perfectly. ‘Selfless’ and ‘All Down Hill From here’ keep the bar high early on in the set as the Florida pop punks tear through the years.
There are noticeably a lot of people stage side watching New Found Glory, and a fair few are from bands that are also scattered across today’s line up, which says a lot in itself about how inspirational NFG have been over the years. “We’ve been a band for like 18 years or something, and for us success is writing a crappy song and inspiring people to play awesome music” chad tells the crowd, and he’s right, they have helped inspire bands such as All Time Low and Neck Deep who are gracing the main stage this weekend. So it’s no surprise to see Ben Barlow the frontman of Neck Deep grinning like a Cheshire cat as he’s invited onto stage to sing along to his favourite New Found Glory song ‘Black & Blue’ which he does a great job of. Theback and forth vocals between Ben and the NFG frontman Jordan Pundik work like a dream, and only make the night that extra bit special.
One for the old school fans follows with an outstanding performance of ‘Dressed to Kill’ before we fast forward to the bands current single ‘Vicious Love’ which sounds great, even without Hayley Williams involved as Jordan’s great vocal performance is pretty damn good tonight.
It’s rather strange seeing a band with such a reputation playing in such a small tent this weekend, but the atmosphere in here is electric and guitarist Chad Gilbert explains why they are in the Lock Up tent tonight as he claims that he wanted to “take things back to the beginning” and that when they got asked to come back to Reading & Leeds they said “as long as we can come back here!” (to The Lock Up stage). Chad also claims that Marcus Mumford the frontman of Mumford & Sons (who is currently headlining the main stage) said “his first concert was a New Found Glory one, which is pretty cool!” so they figured why not take Mumford’s hit ‘The Cave’ and create a monstrous pop punk cover to celebrate them headlining the top of the festival bill? So they did, and it was pretty amazing to say the least.
As the night comes to a close, Jordan cant help but get in the crowd for ‘Hit or Miss’ facing an army of crowd surfers heading his way at the barrier for the highlight of the night, before ‘My Friends Over You’ closes in spectacular style. “We will see you very soon on tour! You guys destroyed reading! Thank you very much!” bellows Chad as the guys leave the stage after yet another successfully sweaty pop punk show.
Mumford & Sons (7)
The last time we saw Mumford at this very festival, they were playing to an over packed NME tent, beers were flying, people were bouncing, and the banjos and acoustics were out in full force. That moment we knew it wouldn’t be too long before they were back headlining this festival.
For a headline act you expect a big entrance, however Mumford & sons take the more chilled back approach as they all stroll into stage as though this is just another show to cross off the list. But you can tell once the set progresses this is something far more special to them. As soon as ‘I Will Wait’ kicks In the Leeds crowd burst into song and the celebration really begins.
They sound incredible with such a big band behind the frontman Marcus Mumford, unlike anything we’ve seen on this stage for so far. ‘Little lion man’ is noticeable an early crowd favourite leaving everyone bouncing and singing along within the moment. As you would expect from Mumford & Son’s back catalogue of albums, the set springs between both brilliant sparks of energy, and chilled beautiful moments. Tracks such as ‘Believe’ Create that special sing along moving moment which not many bands can pull off at this kind of festival, but Mumford do it effortlessly, before leaping back into tracks such as ‘Lover of the Light’ & ‘The Cave’ which keeps everyone on their toes ready to dance and bounce along again.
A two hour set for this band is a big one, and it’s not difficult to loose interest from time to time as things wind down in the slower moments of the set, but it’s moments within songs such as ‘Ditmas’ that create that special festival moment. Especially in the recent hit ‘The Wolf’ which as you’d expect, concludes the set in spectacular Mumford fashion.
The frontman can’t help but announce that they will be returning to the stage in December for a full UK headline tour which they can expect to sell out sharply, because based on tonight Mumford are flying high right now, and nobody wants to miss a second of it.
Review – Danny Peart