Gig review: The Vaccines at O2 Academy Leeds

Justin Young of The Vaccines at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston
Justin Young of The Vaccines at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Hannah Woollaston
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The Vaccines returned to Leeds with support from recent buzz-band The Big Moon and old favourites Palma Violets whose brilliantly hectic sets left the crowd with just enough energy for the band themselves.

Emerging from a cloud of smoke, the headliners opened with ‘Handsome’, the first song on their recent album, English Graffiti. Immediately the sold-out crowd was jumping, engulfing every corner of venue.

Swapping and changing between old and new tracks, the band ensured everyone was pleased – from the beer-throwing older lads at the back to the captivated fans at the front.

‘Wetsuit’ from the band’s first album, What Did You Expect...?, ensures the crowd bellow, “Put a wetsuit on, come on, come on” back to The Vaccines frontman, Justin Young. While the guitar riffs of ‘Blow It Up’ filled the room, the rowdiness didn’t die down.

The talented singer kept the crowd on their toes. As soon as everybody’s favourites, ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘20/20’ came on, the catchy lyrics and furious drum beats created a frenzy in the audience.

However, the highlight of the evening as always had to be the classic hit ‘If You Wanna’. Flapping arms and hands filled the room while heads bopped back and forth, as the crowd scream every lyric back to the band.

Returning for an encore, singer Young treated fans to an acoustic rendition of ‘No Hope’, beaming as the crowd sang back in astonishing volume. “Even better than last time, Leeds,” he exclaims as half the crowd sit on their mates’ shoulders with flying drinks, this was the perfect gig atmosphere.

The high-energy quartet made sure their show remained crazy until the very end, with the much-awaited ‘Norgaard’. The minute-and-a-half long song was over all to soon for both the band and audience as Young exclaims: “Until next time, Leeds.”