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The Leeds Festival

Probably the best couple of days I’ve spent in a field since going to the Malverns mountain biking event back in ’97.

Highlights for me were Good Charlotte, The All-American Rejects, The Darkness, The Datsuns, and Linkin Park – who were simply phenomenal in headlining Saturday night.

Good Charlotte are just as amusing live as they are in their videos. Although somehow I found them too polished, if there is such a thing. They sounded almost exactly like they do on their album – not a note out of place and they made it all look very effortless. Hilarious but dangerous was a mass plastic bottle throw that they engineered. Looked like a 20 foot wave of plastic on top of the crowd, surging in the direction of the stage!

Metallica were pretty good, too, on Friday night, although I’m not a fan and didn’t know any of their songs, you could feel the quality (to paraphrase a certain someone!) even from where I was quietly standing. They also sounded almost too perfect to be live, but I guess that comes with the time the band have been going, and the pure energy in the performance of each song was something to experience.

Surprises for me were Placebo and Linkin Park. I’m not an authority on Placebo by any stretch, but their set was superb. I had been all set to miss it too, in order to catch Electric Six on a side stage, but that was mobbed so we returned to the main stage to see the sun setting to the powerful Pure morning. That and their final few songs really electrified the atmosphere, and set the crowd up for a great night.

To finish off my Leeds Festival experience, Linkin Park bowled me over. We have Hybrid Theory in the house, but it just doesn’t carry the same weight on a stereo that each track had in the dark on Saturday night. In a word, awesome! I went out and bought an older album (Metoria) the next day, along with those of The All-American Rejects and The Datsuns.

After my eye injury I half expected to have a miserable time at the event, but it was cool to quietly observe and soak up the atmosphere and I really enjoyed myself. Big thanks to Andy and Rachael for the shuttle service on both days and for the sofa bed on Friday night. Same time next year?! ;o)

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