British bands can either see years of respect and dedicated fans, or trail off into obscurity, with perhaps the occasional stint on a reality TV show. The Libertines proved they were of the former group from the very start of their set, which opened with anthems such as ‘Heart of the Matter’.
Pints started to fly from the get-go, with rowdy fans lobbing their drinks across the room the second they heard the bands’ opening chords. You could see the confusion of people who had been brought along by their mates, and the evident excitement of those who were ready to show the group just how good a crowd Leeds could be.
They were, of course, late, but most of the audience seemed to have been expecting this, and talked of the boys’ timing in an endeared way.
And besides, they more than made up for it with an incredible 23 song set; some contemporary bands have played as little as seven songs for recent gigs, so the epic performance didn’t go unappreciated.
Doherty and Barat were on top form, proving why they’ve successfully fronted the band for so long. You could tell that they genuinely still cared about the songs they were playing, and about the other men they were on stage with.
‘You’re My Waterloo’ saw everyone stop and have a break, for a heartfelt performance which made the audience fall even more in love with the band they were seeing. Long-time fans and fifteen-year-olds alike joined together for the emotional track, proving that it wasn’t just lively indie anthems that the band are so well revered for.
‘What Katie Did’ and ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ inevitably saw some equally exuberant reactions, with the members putting in an equally heavy dose of passion for each of the tracks they belted through.