Patti Smith Leeds O2 Academy
Sunday September 9th, 2012
Patti Smith is a true icon and the huge crowd crammed into the sweaty O2 Academy on a warm September evening in Leeds, are all here to see the woman who fully embodies the punk spirit.
In just short of a two hour long set we get to witness a living legend do what she does best, perform fantastic rock n roll songs live on stage.
Patti is accompanied by a full electric band including the legendary guitarist Lenny Kaye on this tour for her latest album ‘Banga’. Patti Smith is often as famous for her poetry as she is her rock anthems but we get no fusion of the two mediums, tonight it is all about the music.
‘Dancing Barefoot’ is the first song of the night, and what becomes evident straight away is that Patti’s voice still has enormous power and an incredible tone.
Lenny and the band are tight, efficient and a joy to watch as they switch instruments throughout the set but this is really all about Patti, her stage presence and absolute star quality make it easy to see how she has remained in the public eye as a respected and relevant artist for over forty years.
Tonight Patti is in a jovial mood, in-between songs we are regaled by engaging anecdotes varying from the perils of sports cap drinking bottles to visiting the resting place of Sylvia Plath via daytime tv shows and enjoying rack of lamb for Sunday lunch. We also get Patti smiling and waving at us, she clearly enjoys this as much as we do and a heartfelt plea for us to keep the incarcerated members of Pussy Riot in our thoughts daily is a prime example of how passionate she truly is.
But as I said earlier this is all about the music, songs from her current album ‘Banga’ go down well particularly ‘Amerigo’, ‘Fuji-San’ and the Amy Winehouse dedicated ‘This Is The Girl’.
‘Because The Night’ is a huge sing along success, ‘Pissing In A River’ has a raw bleak beauty and ‘Gloria’ almost sees a mosh pit form during it’s final throes as the classic track erupts with energy.
Last song of the night is ‘Rock N Roll Nigger’ and like true professionals Patti and the band perform with everything they have left, it is a scintillating vital version of the epic song and as they take their bows and vow to return to Leeds in the future I promise myself I will go to see her again anywhere I can.
A remarkable concert, do not pass up the opportunity to see Patti Smith and her band.
2012 UK Tour continues
September 10th Cambridge Corn Exchange
September 12th Brighton Dome
September 13th London The Troxy