Words and photos by Ben Bentley

Stereophonics

Like many venues of a similar size and heritage, the Leeds O2 Academy has certainly had its fair share of impressive headline acts on its bill over the years. Often these acts are en route to success, or in other cases, like this evenings band, this kind of tour is a seemingly rare opportunity to see the whites of an enormous bands eyes.

Josh Weller
Josh Weller

Tour support, Josh Weller received a warm Leeds reception and being the only support act on the bill seemed to retain the continually filling, sold-out venues attention throughout his twenty-five minute set.

Stereophonics
Stereophonics

The crowd seemed eager to see how the evenings set would unfold. With fan-reviews of the new album seemingly exhibiting “Marmite” – like love or hate reactions, the suspense wait was over as the opening bars of “We Share The Same Sun” rung through the venue. With a mere second or so breaths being taken, there was no real stopping the boys from well and truly launching into a double-whammy of fan favorites “Bartender and the Thief” and “A Thousand Trees”, cementing the notion that new material/artistic directions aside, Leeds were definitely in store for a Stereophonics show this evening.

Stereophonics
Stereophonics

At this point with the West Yorkshire crowd firmly on their side and feeling as though no wrongs could really be exacted at this point, Jones and the ‘Phonics tore through a strong set with a decently weighted balance of song choices. The smattering of newer material was on the whole appeared to be well received, record title track “Graffiti On The Train” along with “Indian Summer” were received in warm and similar vein the to some of the more anthemic greatest hits-esque choices.

Stereophonics
Stereophonics

As the set raced to an end, demands of an encore were inevitably met. “Dakota” served as an almost ethereal and incredibly-apt ending to what will certainly be a memorable night at the Academy for a lucky selection of Leeds punters whom had bagged tickets for this intimate tour. For those of you who did miss out? Well, the Stereophonics will return to play the regions newest venue, Leeds Arena later in the year.

Stereophonics
Stereophonics

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