Posted by Rebecca Atkinson.
Reviewed on 2nd September 2011.
Live at Leeds Festival 2011 on Sunday, 28th August 2011
The Kills don't disappoint as during a show comprised of mainly material from latest album Blood Pressures they are good as they are assured exuding a rockstar cool that few artists these days seem to possess with a fittingly sultry leopard print backdrop. Their live sound is slightly limited owing to the obvious fact that there are only two of them meaning the backing track plays a big part but at one point they are joined by several excellent backing singers who add a warmer and more interesting depth to their sound than the aforementioned machine had managed to provide. They close on a powerful version of 'Last Goodbye' which sees Hince forsake his guitar for a fine keys rendition accompanying a good vocal from Mosshart to see them finish on a high.
Jimmy Eat World are no strangers to the festival circuit and they have their fans here today at the main stage but it's a hit and miss set. The new material seems unfamiliar to most and feels merely like a watered down version of them at their poignant best. An acoustic performance of 'Hear You Me' is a real strong point but the closing power trio of 'Bleed America', 'The Middle' and 'Sweetness' remind you of what the band are capable in full flow. A good way to end a questionable set, plus Jim Adkin does have fantastic guitars.
Recent winner of Vogue's "Artist of the Week" Daughter aka ElenaTonra draws many over to the BBC Introducing Stage with her intimate and affecting sound. 'Landfill' "a song about all the ways you can kill me if you wanted to" is symptomatic of her gut wrenchingly melancholic and minimalist style. She is joined by a guitarist for the latter part of the set but even without this her sound never feels lacking as her voice is beautifully evocative, she holds back in all the right places and seems to feel every word she sings. Furthermore she is a great poetic lyricist bringing you into a world of heartbreak and despair but without it ever feeling tacky or heaven forbid "emo". 'Run' in particular has an overpowering desperation to it which has the reasonably sized crowd mesmerised, it really is one of the best performances of the weekend.
A raucous crowd greet Glassjaw as Daryl Palumbo and crew take to the stage for some alt-rock heaviness. The set list is dominated by new material but for once at a festival this is no bad thing as the largely unknown tracks have that signature Glassjaw bite coupled with some almost dance elements showing a different but equally interesting side to their music. The guitar work, as ever, is cocky and vast while the rhythm section is fantastically tight matching the front mans vocal acrobatics perfectly. The big 'hits' are largely missing and many leave early complaining about this but Glassjaw seem to be making one thing clear, they are not interested in what they could do ten years ago only what they can do now and if you don't like it then maybe you should be watching The National instead.
Due to one of the most inconvenient clashes of the weekend The Bronx's lock-up stage show isn't nearly as well attended as it should be (even one has cleared off to watch Casablancas and Co. on the main stage) but the band carry on regardless putting on a display worthy of a headline slot. They pull out the big numbers to great effect. 'Shitty Future' has never felt more vital, 'White Guilt' is disgustingly catchy and 'Heart Attack America' completely brutal. There is a guest appearance on drums from the Mariachi El Bronx sticksman who performs admirably for his part and the rest of the band are on excellent form balancing heavy and catchy perfectly even as Matt Caughthran rides around the moss pit wearing a monkey mask atop the shoulders of a fan. There are some big numbers missing, it would have been nice to hear 'Around The Horn' or 'History's Stranglers' for example, but in the time allotted they do all they can to demonstrate that they are still one of the best live bands around. A truly fantastic way to top off a brilliant and varied weekend of live music proving (to quote Guy Garvey from Friday night) "This is what young people really do when they get together".