The second night of Leeds Festival saw one of the more intriguing partnerships around; Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore split the honour of playing to the biggest crowd of the evening.
Queens were up first, having closed the previous night at Reading. Josh Homme and his extensive band put on a simply brilliant rock show, with thrills in the shape of some impressive laser-shows and some mind-melting guitar-driven beasts of songs. The energy from the band was subtle, growing and growing with each tune. ‘No One Knows’ as song number two was a daring choice, but paid off handsomely as newbies ‘My God Is The Sun’ and ‘Smooth Sailing’ more than benefitted from the buzz generated.
Classics like ‘Feel Good Hit of The Summer’ and ‘Make It Wit Chu’ ensured that ardent fans were catered for too, although personally I felt that the fresher songs from 2013’s ‘…Like Clockwork’ were those more warmly received and those better performed generally.
The last coupling of ‘Go With The Flow’ and ‘A Song For The Dead’ were awesome. The latter allowed drummer Jon Theodore to take centre stage, with a sizzling drum solo, it was a song that the band performed with such intensity and vigour, it was hard to take your eyes away from it. And that was that from Queens, a band who managed to surpass my sky-high expectations.
Closing Leeds on the Saturday night meant a shot at redemption for Paramore, whose Reading set had show-stopping delays of up to 15 minutes after a power shortage saw Hayley Williams have to resort to an acapella version of ‘The Only Exception’.
However, there were none such issues during the Americans set, featuring just over a dozen songs and a heap of Williams have a general chat with her adoring fans, one of whom she plucked from the front barrier and brought on stage to share the chorus of ‘Misery Business’.
Photo courtesy of Leeds Festival – Giles Smith
It was a slick show with pyro, confetti cannons galore and a couple of ‘I had to be there’ moments; the band’s newer material didn’t bring the same sort of attention and clamour that the classics did, but Williams has an endearing quality about her, as she represents that you can be who you want and rock out to 90,000 in a field in Yorkshire.
The experiment between two American rock-bands worked; both Queens and Paramore had some cracking moments, and I wouldn’t really be surprised to see extended full-headliner status for them over the next few years.