Eminem, 2017

From the moment the lights went down, the anticipation was palpable. Bouncing on to the stage, Eminem’s energy was contagious. More than any other time I’ve seen him live (and there have been a few) his performance was electric. He seemed entirely in his element, hands keeping time to the beat and lyrics spit with true meaning behind every word.

Eminem at Leeds Festival 2017

I had the sense that his performance was truly genuine and he had seemed to pick out the tracks that would give him the best platform to connect with the crowd, rather than simply perform the ones that are the most well known.

The performance came across as one where he was truly present, which hasn’t always been the case in past tours. He was enthusiastic and didn’t hesitate to deliver his performance with impact. Hidden beneath a dark cap, it was hard to make out any facial expressions, however that didn’t dampen the emphasis of the words.

Against a simple backdrop of a projected boom-box, the lyrics stood out as complex, taking all the credit without any fancy distractions.

A boombox projected on to the stage provided the backdrop for Eminem at Leeds 2017

Hearing him perform some of the older songs like ‘Soldier’ took me back to the reasons that I started listening to Eminem, way back in the day. Yes, he says things to shock and I don’t agree with all of his lyrics, but he is authentic. His words and rhythms helped me to get through some really tough times and as I stood there in the crowd, it seemed like everyone around me was using his music as an outlet, a release for all of the struggles we have to deal with daily.

The angsty, teenage me was in her element, shouting the words along with the performance in the same way that I’d learnt the words to the tracks whilst back in school. This time, however, it felt like there was less of Shady’s antisocial antics and much more of Eminem ripping through politics, poverty and inequality.

Despite the change of focus, Eminem’s skills are just as pronounced and polished, without loosing the raw nature of his performance. Stepping up a gear, his performance of ‘Rap God’ never fails to amaze, throwing out words with incredible speed. Every time I hear it, I get chills and for me, it cements his title as one of the best in his business.

Despite mix reviews of his last couple of albums, I felt that Eminem’s performance showed that he isn’t ready to hang up his hat just yet. In his own words ‘Mr Don’t Give A Fuck just won’t leave’ and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Eminem shares his political views at Leeds 2017

Were you there? What was your experience of Eminem’s set?

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Tom Misch, 2017

I’m behind the curve with this one. I hadn’t heard of Tom Misch until I happened upon him at a festival in between two of the acts I wanted to see.

We were waking though the site and the chilled out sound caught my attention. We sat down on the grass and started to debate the music.

In turn, the music was likened to Jamiroquai, Ed Sheeran and jazz – each correct but each not quite capturing the essence of the sound. In truth, it didn’t matter. Tom had grabbed the attention of three people with varying tastes in music, who were on our way to listen to something very different, and got us to listen to the rest of his set. That’s an achievement.

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Some of our conversation was about where we would listen to his music. Wedding music, a night out with friends, chilling at home, it seemed to fit well with any occasion. On that particular day, it fit well with a group of friends. chilling out and feeling the positive vibe of discovering new music.

Korn, 2017

Loud and enthusiastic. The set from Korn, although fierce, also carried a level of humour which was hard to deny. There was a fun feeling to the set and even a casual fan like myself was bouncing along.

Bagpipes echoing across the field, the cover of Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ was an interesting twist, but it was hearing ‘Freak on a Leash’ that really had me hooked.

I wasn’t sure that late afternoon on a Sunday was the perfect slot for their music, however a group at the front had a mosh pit going, so maybe I was wrong!

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