Leeds Party In The Park

By Claire White

Find out about the 2013 line-up by clicking here.

Sunday July 25th saw Temple Newsam host to 70,000 music fans, burger vans and a whole host of celebrities for Leeds annual Party In The Park Event.

One Night Only were chosen to open the main acts section and proved it was a worthwhile decision. They had full energy on stage and despite the short set, they managed to get the crowd into the gig spirit. ‘Just For Tonight’ seemed the most popular song in their set, due to the crowd’s reaction and the band had successfully managed to rock up Temple Newsam.

Scouting For Girls were next to take to the stage and showed audience interaction is one of their key skills. In the bands whole set, they had the crowd singing along to their catchy hits and as lead singer Roy Stride created a relationship between the band and the fans, it encouraged them even more to join in. The band even allowed the opportunity for their fans to become ‘Famous’ for a minute, as Stride let the fans appear on the large screens either side of the stage, rather than the band ‘hogging the limelight’. The last song in their small set was the bands popular hit ‘She’s So Lovely’, which had the strongest reception out of the set and everyone was singing along, as Roy made sure they all had a great time while the band graced the stage.

Just as the crowd entered the true gig atmosphere, it seemed Jedward had came along to spoil their fun. As surprise guests at the gig, no one expected the cheery duo to appear and when they did, the reaction was certainly not what Jedward would have hoped for. As soon as the pair appeared on the large screens the crowd of 70,000 filled with negative responses, as the Boo-ing began before they even reached the stage. After pretending to use a video message saying sorry they could not be there, the pair bounced onto the stage full of energy as usual yet most people were wishing the video message was true. It seems not even a bad crowd reception can dampen the moods of the teens, as they sung their cover of Blink 182’s ‘All The Small Things’, they even had the cheeky attitude to promote their new album which was out the next day and seemed to be oblivious (or deaf) to realise the crowd did not want to know anymore and as they exited the stage you could even hear some cheers from the relieved crowd.

The Baseballs were a band who most did not expect to be on such a line-up but they proved they can put on a strong set, even if the majority of the crowd seemed uninterested. The band played covers of Rhianna’s ‘Umberella’, Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ and Katy Perry’s ‘Hot & Cold;. The songs were an excellent choice, but it seems the crowd would have preferred the real versions rather than the different take The Baseballs provide. Overall, the band did have excellent on stage presence and proved they can cover the songs extremely well and with the right audience they definitely would not disappoint.

Dane Bowers took to the stage next surprising people at his strong live vocals. He had a hard job to try and please the crowd, but when he announced the next single he would perform would be a blast from the past; ‘Freak Me’ from his old band Another Level. It seemed this was a perfect move, the crowd wakened up again and joined in singing and dancing along and Dane Bowers had successfully won over the Leeds crowd.

Another blast from the past appeared on stage at the event, Craig David. The majority of his set was played acoustically, which was a popular choice, as he was singing his old material this allowed the crowd to join in. As a small surprise in his set he amazed everyone with his beatbox style rapping talents, it seemed he did so without stopping for breath and was certainly a move which impressed the crowd.

Lee Ryan treated Blue fans to an appearance and performance based mainly on Blue’s hits. He proved he can sing live extremely well and not a note was a sung out of tune, particularly showcasing his vocal skills in Blue’s hit single; ‘Breathe Easy’. During the set, he was joined on stage by fellow Blue band member Antony Costa, who joined Lee to sing Blue’s hit ‘Too Close’. The pair then went onto treat the crowd by telling them an exclusive; that Blue are back in 2011, by the reception the duo received and the screams at this announcement, it seems Blue shall have a welcomed return.

Basshunter received one of the strongest receptions of the whole line-up. His set was full of energy, the crowd were ecstatic at his appearance and were fully engaged in his whole set. As a bonus for his female fans, Basshunter also decided as he was singing, to begin to remove his clothes, sticking to the stereotype we have all heard about, first his jacket was removed then next thing he was topless on stage to which the crowd of 70,000 were even more delighted. The atmosphere whilst he was on stage was electric and the sea of people were all jumping in-time, singing along. The highlight of his set was ‘All I Ever Wanted’ and the crowd were left begging for more.

Alesha Dixon took to the stage with a set full of energy. She had extremely powerful vocals and was one of the strongest sounding acts of the day. One thing that comes across in her performance is that she is extremely down-to-earth, whilst communicating with the crowd she is talking to them like it is a one-on-one conversation and is thoughtful enough to ask them to stop all pushing forward due to people at the barrier becoming extremely squashed! It was the her single ‘Drummer Boy’s first live debut and the performance was extremely cleverly planned. The dancers and ‘drummer boys’ were synchronized in time perfectly and the drummers were an unexpected touch to her performance. She amazed the crowd and managed to keep them engaged for her whole set with the professional routine and powerful vocals, she certainly proved her place on the line-up.

Professor Green managed to get the crowd going with his single ‘Just Be Good To Green’ and was a popular choice for the line-up, engaging the crowd with his set.

Example was another strong act of the day. As soon as he hit the stage the crowd were singing along and he managed to create another party atmosphere alike to that of Basshunter. ‘Kickstarts’ was the most popular song in his set and the crowd all jumped in sync whilst singing along. He managed to contain full stage presence throughout the set and keep the crowd in the gig atmosphere the whole time.

The Wanted, who are becoming more popular by the day, were an act who took longer to get the crowd involved, but once they had managed to get the crowd on their side they were fully interacting with them and put on a strong set. The strongest song in their set was the band’s debut single ‘All Time Low’, which had the crowd singing along and eagerly now getting involved. The band also had the pleasure of 70,000 people singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to their rather embarrassed looking band member! The band managed to hold their stage prescence throughout their set yet it seems from this performance, the band aren’t quite used to such a large crowd yet, but with the way things are looking to the future for the band, they better get used to the idea!

The highly anticipated appearance of Pixie Lott was one which did not disappoint. The singer began with ‘Turn It Up’ and as soon as the first note was sung, the crowd were joining in. Pixie showed she was very appreciative of the support throughout her set, thanking fans after every song and even being thankful to her own band at the end of the short stint. Her outfit was as stylish as ever and her vocals were extremely impressive and even better than on her album. ‘Cry Me Out’ was a particularly strong song to showcase this and she showed her full stage presence in this song despite the slower tempo. She also proved that she knows how to please a crowd. Pixie finished her small set with her first single ‘Mama Do’ which received an excellent reception from the crowd and overall it was learnt that she certainly knows how to make the most of her set, no matter what the length and get the crowd eager for more.

Irish band The Script took to the stage and the strongest song in their set was ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’, everyone in sight was singing along and lead singer Danny O’Donoghue provided as much crowd interaction as possible throughout their whole set and charmed the crowd with his Irish charm. The fact he used the whole area of the stage to communicate with the fans was a point that cannot go unnoticed and despite having the hard task of interacting with 70,000 people, he did so with ease.

The Saturdays opened their set with ‘Forever Is Over’ containing full energy and a well rehearsed routine, none of which was out of time and you can tell that a lot of practice has gone into ensuring this. Next they performed their latest single; ‘Missing You’, which is not as catchy as the rest of their songs and was harder for the crowd to get into. The strongest song of their set was ‘Ego’ which had a cleverly worked dance routine and managed to get the crowd fully involved and the band not looking so robotic, as they jumped around the stage encouraging involvement and interacting with the crowd fully.

The headline act of the day Dizzee Rascal put on an outstanding performance and proved his place as the headline act of the day. As soon as he entered the stage, the crowd reception was unbelievable and it seems the full 70,000 were in force to support Dizzee’s performance. Throughout the set he had complete crowd interaction, performing hits such as ‘Dirtee Disco’, ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’. He even proved himself somewhat of a security-guard at the event, by intervening and stopping a fight which managed to break out in the crowd during his set. This was a surprising event to occur and was one that showed proved to many fans that all he wanted was everyone to enjoy themselves. As he said himself he was there to ‘promote peace and love’ and as he stopped mid-song to ensure the crowd were okay, he proved this point well. The atmosphere at this point could have easily taken a turn for the worst, but Dizzee proved he knows how to work the crowd and carried on his set extremely well, changing the mood back into the full gig atmosphere. As the high anticipation had built for his performance, he managed to prove with ease the reason why. Dizzee Rascal certainly left the Leeds crowd amazed at his live performance and from the reception he received, it seems he’s gained a lot of new fans also.

Overall the day was energy packed and full of chart-topping acts. The only downside of the day was the running order, many acts were showing their frustration via Twitter that their own set-list time was cut down as the show was over-running and therefore giving them a shorter time to impress the crowd. It seems this happened to Basshunter, who was one of the strongest acts of the entire day, so was a pity for the crowd they did not get to see more of him and less of earlier acts. There was also a large ‘gap’ in the middle of the day, to which it seemed the crowd weren’t into the full gig as much as they were previously, yet they managed to pick this up again near the end. The highlights of the day were Scouting For Girls, The Wanted, Basshunter, Example, Pixie Lott and Dizzee Rascal who proved that even with a short set-time they know how to please a crowd and make the day worthwhile. The crowd seemed to have a fantastic day overall and many were already talking about next years event and who they wish to be on the line-up, so here’s to Leeds Party In The Park 2011!

To find out who is playing this years(2011) Party In The Park, click here now!

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