Day two of Leeds Festival and, after a day of quality music across the stages, it seemed like organisers had decided Saturday needed to kick off with a bang and what better way to do that than by unleashing the incendiary Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on the main stage?
Of course the man obliged with an explosive set which saw him disappear into the crowd about 60 seconds into their set before ordering female-only moshpits. For the duration of their set, it was complete pandemonium meaning that, in all honesty, anything that followed was going to be something of an anti-climax.
That’s not to say that what came after was bad, far from it, it’s just that, if you’re going to follow someone like Frank Carter, you’re going to have to do something very special. An entertaining intro tape brought Black Honey to the stage with their retro-tinged grunge with the band, led by the moody Izzy Baxter Phillips provided a bit of rock n’ roll grit to the stage while the tempo changed for singer-songwriter Griff who recently supported Dua Lipa on her UK arena tour. Undoubtedly a great artist but, followed Frank Carter and Black Honey, not sure this was the right setting for her.
Elsewhere Los Angeles rockers Wallows led by Netflix/13 Reasons Why actor Dylan Minnette were powering through their set on the second main stage as we headed to the Festival Republic stage to catch the last few songs from rising Mancunian alt-punks Witch Fever. Judging by the sizeable crowd, we weren’t the only ones wanting to grab the chance to check out a band who are going to be hard to avoid in 2023.
Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
You can read our review of Friday here
Again both Joy Crookes and Circa Waves both put in faultless sets with the latter pulling in a particular impressive crowd however, after the antics of Frank Carter earlier in the day, it was hard to muster up the energy in the mid-afternoon heat to really appreciate both acts.
Heading into the early evening then and Baltimore pop-punk stars All Time Low made damn sure that the energy levels were cranked right up with a set of pyro-laden anthems. Kicking off with “Lost In Stereo”, the band were exactly what this Saturday afternoon crowd needed and with guitarist Jack Barakat spending a sizeable amount of time on the barrier, the party at Leeds was now back in full swing. Back on the main stage the absolutely glorious Little Simz strode out into the early evening sunshine and spat through powerful collection of songs including the epic opener “Introvert”.
Taking a break from the musical proceedings, we headed into the Leeds Festival comedy alternative stage to catch the back end of Reginald D.Hunter’s set while it was the brilliant Ed Gamble who brought a headline quality set to close out to the stage. Interacting brilliantly with the crowd, Gamble looks truly at home as his self-critical humour brought him a deserved packed-out tent.
There was a huge shift from the main stage following the end of Little Simz set as fans jostled for a spot to catch female American rap superstar Megan Thee Stallion bring the Main Stage West to a close. Despite arriving twenty minutes late on stage, Megan gave these fans everything they wanted. Edgy, hard-hitting, booty-shaking hip-hop was what they wanted and, grinding through hits like “WAP”, as well as inviting fans onstage, the American superstar left the site knowing she had delivered a set that will be talked about for many years to come.
Our second day started with Frank Carter and wrapped up with London rapper Dave putting on a suitably massive show. Pulling an absolutely colossal crowd to the main stage, the rapper looked truly humbled as he addressed the crowd talking about this connection to the festival. While not as over the top a production as the one Stormzy had brought with him twelve months earlier, Dave brought with him an absolute ton of pyro and anthems like “We’re All Alone” to ensure that a day that started out with a bang, ended with one just as loud.