Apparently The Walkmen judge the UK as one of their least desired tour locations. Indeed, the band cancelled their Reading and Leeds Festival appearances in 2004 simply because they could not be bothered to fly over. Looks like Mean Fiddler have recalled such rudeness by debunking them to merely opening the Main Stage. Thankfully, the Gods were smiling as the arena had a weekend afternoon Central Park vibe with many lying on the lush grass as the sun beat down. Not to detract from Hamilton Leithauser who seemed to want to make amends, earnestly gripping the microphone as his rasping voice dragged tracks out into the sunshine.
The set gave the New Yorker's a chance to unveil tracks from their upcoming sixth album, which sat comfortably against their established set. Such a tight, trebled sound for debuted track 'Juveniles' should be confined to a tent but for some reason the acoustics seemed fitting, unlike Leithauser's suit. 'On The Water' was ideal being frenzied enough to entice onlookers to gauge the racket. When hooked, the likes of 'Angela Surf City' and 'Woe Is Me' proved that the band could marry commotion with sentiment from sheer sweet, lyrical decency. Fresh from years kept in reserve, 'The Rat' sounded rejuvenated with its enhanced ramshackle din which left 'In The New Year' to end their set on a poignant, hopeful note.