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Festival Coverage: Leeds Festival 2017 - Sunday

Despite getting little sleep thanks to the very public break-up that happened in the tent behind ours on Saturday night, Sunday morning arrives with the campsite in good spirits and the weather continuing its rare good form, as rumours begin to circulate about a ‘secret’ set over on the Festival Republic Stage from London’s Wolf Alice.

Much like QOTSA’s not-so-secret set two days prior, anyone with battery and the festival app would have found out about it a couple of hours before stage time, but even still, as midday rolls around and the four piece appear on stage the tent is less busy than expected. That said, as they launch open with their most recent single ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a headline act, given the modest crowd’s huge reaction.

With a setlist comprised of nothing but singles, every track aired evokes a similar reaction to the first. And when the band finally finish with a rousing rendition of ‘Giant Peach’, the crowd loses it. Having already made their stake on headline glory in 2015 with a blistering performance on the NME stage, you can guarantee that following this morning’s set, they’re well on their way to the realms of indie royalty.

At a somewhat more emo end of the spectrum, Moose Blood’s over on the Main Stage were a perfectly inoffensive way to ease any lingering hangovers. And while the older members of the crowd offer little more than ambivalence towards the Canterbury four-piece, the fans at the front hang on to front-man Eddy Brewerton’s every word.

Flipping that scene on its head, it’s little more than three hours later, and the older crowd, all too aware of the post-hardcore royalty that stand on stage before them, are hanging on to every crunch and scream of At The Drive-In, while those younger members of the audience look on bemused, or opt to head elsewhere.

It’s something that continues for nu-metallers Korn, whose set, though plagued by a thunderous low-end that drowns everything out. That said, the band slam through  an impressive fifteen song set, airing classics such as ‘Falling Away From You and ‘Blind’ while ‘Freak on Leash’ signals numerous circle pits and ends their set on a high.

It’s a direct contrast to the sun-kissed indie-pop of Macclesfield’s Cassia, who draw a modest but devoted crowd over on the BBC introducing Stage just before hand. Having just released their latest single ‘Sink’ the trio are riding an impressive wave at present, and while their tireless work ethic must be taking its toll by now, they show no signs of fatigue as they liberally scatter their set with fan favourites such as ‘Moana’, ‘Paradise Beach’ and the massive ‘100 Times Over’. With a set that feels short but sweet, you can expect to see them rise through the R&L ranks over the next couple of years.

With the sun now set for the final time on this year’s festival, and the anarchic and somewhat over the top bass of Major Lazer finally finished, swarms of people head towards the Main Stage for this weekend’s final headliner.

No stranger to the fields of Bramham Park, this is Eminem’s third time headlining the festival; his appeal no less diminished despite the recent lack of new material. Undertaking a mammoth 33 song set that takes in tracks from over the course of his career as well a smattering of covers by the likes of Lil Wayne, Drake and B.O.B, the latter’s ‘Airplanes Part II’ a particular highlight, allowing for Eminem’s nasally vocal delivery to cut through the track’s polished production exquisitely.

Of course, the tracks from later in his career offer up a different aesthetic entirely from those early cuts, and while the likes of ‘Love the Way You Lie’ and ‘The Monster’ benefit from Ebony taking on Rhianna’s vocal parts, it’s the earlier offerings, from The Marshall Mathers LP or The Slim Shady LP that showcase just how far Eminem has come. And though tracks such as ‘Stan’, ‘The Way I Am’ or ‘My Name Is’ elicit some of the weekend’s biggest reactions, there’s much more time spent on the more recent, ‘serious’ material, that which has gone on to prove Eminem’s career encompasses much more than quick flow and controversy.  

Despite the huge set-list, his encore comes around all too soon and somewhat fittingly, ‘Lose Yourself’ garners the biggest reaction of the day. As Eminem tells the crowd that “We’ll always remember this show”, it feels like anything but a cliché. 

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