Leeds 2013

I’m shattered, somehow feel hungover despite not drinking, and have been sat in my dressing gown all day. Still I’m very glad I’m not camping.

For the second time I attended Leeds festival I could only afford a day ticket rather than the weekend ticket, so I went with my friend Dan to the Saturday date, as we have a mutual love of the day’s headliner. Here are my two wristbands making friends.

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I kicked off the day filling the car up at 8am, before picking Dan up at about 9 and heading off to Bramham Park. The journey was fun, we went through Blink 182, Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy to get excited for later. We also discussed the merits of various superheroes and Pokemon.

We got there a bit early and there weren’t any bands on, so we wandered around and got some food before heading to the main stage to have a sit down. The grass was wet and While She Sleeps came on while we were there. I did not care for them at all, very shouty and screamy.

We hung around because I thought New Found Glory were on next, but Skindred were actually on first. I’m glad we stayed because they were a lot of fun, and managed to get in a good bit of crowd interaction in the half hour or so they were on.

I didn’t get any pictures of Skindred sadly, but here is a shot of the main stage that I probably won’t be able to fit in later.

WP_20130824_001That’s the best picture I have that shows the entire stage. At this point New Found Glory had come on, making it the second time I had seen them. They played most of Sticks and Stones, which is my favourite album by them, so I was happy.

The first time I saw them play they supported Paramore five and a half years ago. We stayed around the back for this one too, I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to be near the front all day.

WP_20130824_003The lead singer, Jordan, on one of the big screens. After NFG finished I didn’t really pay too much attention to these, as we moved into the middle.

After they left Bring Me The Horizon were the next band on, so we hurried away. Dan got more food, we got a drink – I had King Tango – and we went for a sit down somewhere. It was around 2pm at this point.

After a couple of hours wandering and not doing a lot, the weather decided it was going to be awful, and it absolutely slashed it down. We hid in one of the stalls, then felt bad for being in there without buying anything.

We found a stall that sold those daft looking rain ponchos and accidentally got six for the price of two, so we made some friends by handing them out.

WP_20130824_005We were all told to leave not long after that, and went into one of the tents to wait for the downpour to go away. As you can see by the other ponchos here, we weren’t the only ones with this idea.

The band in the background there were actually quite good. They had a DJ playing very trippy weird hooks to their punky songs, and I recognised a song I must have heard either on an advert or FIFA.

WP_20130824_004If anyone knows who that is from this dreadful zoomed in picture, you are crazy. But they were quite good, much better than standing in the rain.

We sat down, tried to find the football scores and then went off to get some hot drinks. We then stood at the Introducing stage, simply because it was closest to the tea stand.

A band called Amber came on that we rather enjoyed, they were interesting. Once they finished it was about an hour to go before System of a Down played, so we went back to the main stage.

WP_20130824_007This was before they came out, we were there for a while because Deftones were finishing their set when we got there. We aren’t keen on them, but the rain had pretty much gone at this point.

WP_20130824_009Out came System, Serj with guitar in hand only to play their opener Aerials. After that they went from classic to classic; BYOB, Spiders, Pluck, Hypnotize, Question!, Radio/Video (one of my favourites), Chop Suey and Toxicity.

Before this gig I had barely listened to SOAD in a couple of years, but I thoroughly enjoyed them live. Glad I finally got to see them after they went on hiatus before I got the chance.

WP_20130824_010A couple of circle pits later and we found ourselves bang on centre of the crowd, if you can see the change in angle there. We stayed out of them thankfully, too old for that stuff. There was a guy in a sleeping bag who fell down in one of them, prompting a few chants of ‘sleeping bag’ to go around.

After System went off I thought they were brilliant, but as soon as they started setting up this stage here I forgot all about them.

WP_20130824_013We were told at the start of the day, by Colin Murray for some reason, that Green Day would be on at 8:20pm, so every minute that went by after that we got a bit more fidgety.

I already sort of knew the setlist having seen it online, but I didn’t really take it in much. Just standing was becoming a problem at this stage, with the rain turning the fields into muddy lakes.

Just after half past, as Bohemian Rhapsody finished, a bunny came on stage.

WP_20130824_015If you can make him out there, he ran around the stage pumping the crowd up and showing his bunny bum. We may never know if it was one of the band dressed up, but he did have a Tre Cool tshirt on.

I fear the pictures may outnumber the words before long, but Green Day came out! It had also stopped raining again so the phone was out.

WP_20130824_016Bille Joe and Mike are there closest to Tre, as they started up the set with their usual hey-oh chants. I hated them on Bullet in a Bible, but it turns out they’re a lot more fun when you can join in.

The first five songs contained three off the new albums, so I didn’t really get into it until they played Holiday. That naturally turned into Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

At some point in amongst all this Billie went off on a rant about living in the moment and this being the fans’ concert which made everybody very happy. Then the banner came up.

WP_20130824_023Yup, they played Dookie front to back to mark its 20th anniversary next year. Another of my favourite albums played on the day, as they ran through them I was waiting for my favourites all the way. Coming Clean, F.O.D & Pulling Teeth were so good, worth waiting the whole set for.

WP_20130824_019I almost forgot to put this one in. It does say Green Day behind there, I promise. It was actually a whole panel of lights at one point, but I didn’t take a picture of this because I was having a seizure.

They did a cover of A Quick One, While He’s Away by The Who, presumably just for us since it was a tribute to their Live at Leeds show in 1970.

They played St Jimmy after Dookie had finished, and went off to Minority and the biggest singalong so far.

WP_20130824_018The band came back out for American Idiot and then, to my delirium, Jesus of Suburbia. At this point we were knackered, stood in ankle deep mud and I was being elbowed in the back by some short person. Jesus of Suburbia was the best part of the night for me.

Then Billie came back out on his own, and played Walk Away, giving me the chance to have a rest before Time of Your Life. I recorded it for your viewing pleasure.

I don’t think the loudest voice on this is mine, because a) the microphone on my phone faces away from me, and b) I didn’t think I had that much voice left by this point.


After they went off I had to go see what it was like to be right at the barrier. There was a mountain of cups and bottles and things. I feel sorry for festival litter pickers.

After that we waded back through the mud and the crowds, and spoke to a few people. Most of them were laughing at Dan’s attempts at standing up. We had a struggle out of the car park in the mud, until I saw a shortcut and popped out.

I listened to Warning three times through on the way home to try and keep my eyes open. After that it was home, shower, fall into bed and sleep.

And that was my day, Skindred were fun, NFG were good, SOAD were great and Green Day were amazing, one of the best live bands I’ve seen. They had a saxophone, a harmonica and an accordion. No fireworks though this year.

Despite the lack of fireworks, Green day left us with a very appropriate image, given the smells wafting around.

WP_20130824_025It wasn’t quite the same without Jess there, but we will no doubt be going back in the years to come, with a bigger tent and a more liquid based diet.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

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About Darren Hyland

If I don't see you, good afternoon good evening and goodnight! Check the About Darren page for a bit more on me.

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