True to his word, the band played a selection of material from throughout their catalogue, opening with the title cut from 2003's Young Liars EP. Beginning with quiet falsetto coos, it gradually built with intensity, rising to a dramatic, urgent crescendo as Adebimpe alternately twiddled synth knobs and shimmied across the stage.
This set the tone for the performance, as the six-piece exercised masterful restraint by interspersing their surging rock cuts with delicate comedowns and sprawling build-ups. This meant that their upbeat material packed an extra punch, with the trombone-punctuated cowpunk two-step of "The Wrong Way" standing out as an early highlight.
As the sun peeked in and out of the clouds and winds whirled across the field, massively bearded guitarist Kyp Malone quipped, "Rock and roll is the language of the night, and yet here we are in the middle of the day." He might have had a point: although the surging grooves were effectively intense, the 90-minute time slot was too long for the mid-afternoon. Following a blistering mid-set rendition of their career-defining hit "Wolf Like Me," which turned the enraptured audience into a teeming mass, the second half of the performance lagged by comparison.
Still, the set's energetic peaks meant that it was well worth festival goers' time.
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