first direct arena Leeds - Reviews

first direct arena Leeds
4.4 (131 Reviews)
Atmosphere
Acoustics & sight lines
Toilets
Parking
On-site service

Selected reviews for this venue:

RWL, 21/08/14
Lighting made it impossible to watch the artists on stage. Poor sound, needed to be louder. The venue is fantastic and all staff were superb.
Eric Clapton (21/08/14) - Clapton at Leeds - disappointed !
A massive disappointment. Clapton looked like he could not be bothered and did not want to be there! His attitude toward his paying audience, the fans like me who have followed him and bought his music for decades and made him the wealthy man that he is, was atrocious, we deserved more. People stood up and left within 20 mins of the start of the concert, the row in front of me all 8 stood up and walked out in disgust. The lighting was poorly thought out (at least I hope it was not intentional), a bank of white spot lights at the back of the stage were shone straight out horizontally in to the audience. Resulting in everyone having to close their eyes or try to peer through fingers! What a completely stupid idea. Poor set list, stupid lighting, abysmal attitude from Clapton. A total waste of money. If it we possible to get a refund I would. Needless to say I shall not bother with Clapton or his music again. Shame really as I have followed him since the sixties. Mr Clapton - if you cant be bothered, stop touring and taking our money under false pretences! Thank goodness that the support act was brilliant. Hunter and the Bear. They really were good.
Amy Donnelly, 20/08/14
Such a friendly venue! Security, Catering, Merchandise staff all lovely. This really adds to the appeal of the venue. The venue is really well laid out too. Lots of toilets, food outlets and merch stands. Hardly any queues
Ant and Dec (20/08/14) - Dont Just Watch the Ads...
Wow! A lifelong Ant and Dec fan, this show was my dream come true. The lads gave their all. We were treated to audience surprises, Ant Vs Dec, Win the Ads, End of the Show Show, Singalong Live, Little Ant and Dec and loads more. The Guest announcer at Leeds was Keith Lemon but this varies from city to city. The warm up Andy Collins was hilarious too. Ashley Roberts was a real surprise for me. Girl can sing! Blue were OK. Riverdance also put on a great show. We also had the chance to win the ads(a car, a holiday and other prizes worth £18k) I went both nights and they were won each night! The whole thing is an amazing show and Id really recommend it to anyone. ��
Concert lover, 19/08/14
Ant and Dec (19/08/14) - Brilliant show
Had a great night at the Leeds arena, fantastic seats, great entertainment and good fun, Blue were fab and so were river dance. Loved the lovely Keith Lemon and added bonus to see the gorgeous Matthew Wolfenden and Natalie Anderson, she was sat in front of me too. Ant and Dec put on a very good show and We thoroughly enjoyed it.
Lynn Birch, 18/08/14
Ant and Dec (18/08/14) - Brilliant
I have always watched Ant & Decs Saturday Night Takeaway but there is no comparison to the live show. it was great fun from start to finish and they have a fantastic chemistry between themselves and the audience. I could have watched them the next night and still laughed from start to finish. Well worth every penny.
Ramsay, 18/08/14
Ant and Dec (18/08/14) - Brilliant Show
You was fantastic and it was very nice to see you as I can not get down London to shows, the atmosphere was good, I went with my sister son and neice, I did fall between the seats below thoug and hurt my leg
Kim Miller, 18/08/14
Parking was fine getting in, horrendous getting our (well over an hour) Food had run out by the interval. Didnt like how high up I was (didnt get to choose my seats) and never been to the venue myself. Sufferer of vertigo so wasnt ideal. Handrails stop at awkward points too.
Ant and Dec (18/08/14) - Funny!
Really liked the sketches the impromptu crisp sketch was very funny. Nice mix of music and comedy. Love the fact they get everyone involved (not just the front row seats) a gentlemen right at the back managed to win the ads which I thought was great.
Gareth, 18/08/14
Ant and Dec (18/08/14) - A great night
The whole night was great from start to finish. Action packed and always something going on for the audience to get involved in.
Mac, 18/08/14
Ant and Dec (18/08/14) - Fantasic show
Absolutely amazing. One of the best shows ever seen. Laughed throughout. Ant & Dec certainly know how to put on a show. Keith Lemon was great.
Dave Paisley, 14/07/14
cant comment on the parking as we did not use it. on site bar was really good with soft seating and reasonable prices. view of the stage was good, although I am not sure how good it would be if you were right at the back
Pearl Jam (14/07/14) - 3 hours 40 minutes of pure brilliance
Down to earth set and as ever Pearl Jam produced a memorable night, it was evident that The Who connection had not been lost on Edd who appeared to revel in the atmosphere and the closeness of the crowd to the stage. Pearl Jam are the real deal and probably the purest rock band touring at present. Superb.
Mrscrawley, 11/07/14
Good venue. Didnt need to park (came by train). We queued at the bar for nearly 30 minutes for drinks even though all the tills were open. There should have been people assisting the servers to get it moving quicker as it was ridiculous.
Team Presentation Opening Ceremony (11/07/14) - A good evening
I didnt know what to expect but this was a great event. They kept it moving and it didnt feel like 2.5 hours.
John, 10/07/14
I didnt try the toilets - it seems there are too few, judging by the queues - or the food. Otherwise a great venue with excellent acoustics
Eric Clapton (10/07/14) - A Lacklustre Performance!
Never having been able so see Mr Clapton before (although I have seen his compatriots in Cream at other times) I was very much looking forward to seeing the great man himself. What a disappointment! Although he had a great band with him - they were full of life, enthusiasm and musicianship - the great man just seemed to be going through the motions, despite his virtuosity on the guitar. He began with a couple of potboiler 12 bar blues (one recalled his longstanding affection for the blues) which did nothing to raise the crowd. The best section was that in which he took to his acoustic guitar, when something approaching emotion seemed to stir. This was just an interlude however, as the remainder of his electric set didnt build on this. He played a few favourites, but probably not many that his undoubted fans were hoping to hear. He hardly said a word all through, didnt introduce the band, and only acknowledged after a fine performance of one of his own songs. He played for only 90 mins, and the highlight of the evening was the performance of the support band - Hunter and the Bear. They showed him how to bring an audience to life, playing some great numbers! Fortunately, we saw The Eagles on the next evening. What a contrast - interested, communicative, lively and some great music. My brother had seen Mr Clapton a little while ago in Melbourne (Oz) and had made similar comments to mine. I had hoped he had just been jet-lagged there, and that we would see a different side - but it was just more of the same! We wont bother to line his pockets next time he tours!
plod, 08/07/14
Team Presentation Opening Ceremony (08/07/14) - Great to see the cyclists
Poor sound system meant most conversations on stage were difficult to follow. Was at front in most expensive seats and apart from the great position did not find it great value.
Terence Lowe, 08/07/14
Not all bars take credit/debit cards (beware after queuing for 10 minutes) yet there are no clear signs to say they are cash only. Some staff at the bars were pretty poor as well. I requested some french fries only to be told that there were none left and was offered crisps as an alternative. After paying for the crisps, I heard other people requesting fries from other serving staff. To my surprise, fries were very much still on the menu. When I made this point to my server all I got was a sorry and a shrug of the shoulders! The acoustics were pretty poor for the concert side of the event - was impossible to hear any of the words that were being sung from where we were.
Team Presentation Opening Ceremony (08/07/14) - Overpriced for what is normally a free event!
Team presentations at the Tour de France have up until this point been a free event. So, for 65 GBP + an extra booking fee (per ticket) you would hope to be getting something spectacular apart from a comfortable seat! Unfortunately this was not the case. As a fan of the Tour and of cycling in general I hope that this is not a case of how things will be hosted in future. Cycling fans are not bothered about official tour songs and tag on artists to make it look like you are getting good bang for your buck. Please keep these events free, just like the spectating on the streets. I would not recommend attending a similar event in future and suspect that the money generated from the presentation went some way to address budget shortfalls for hosting the race in the first place. Im also fed up of being charged a booking fee per ticket when in actual fact I only make one booking on a website that has no human element - why is that? Disappointed.
Nicky, 05/07/14
We liked the venue, but it was a bit tricky finding our seats and we had to disturb a lot of people for us to sit down.
Eric Clapton (05/07/14) - Good guitarist, but spoke not a word!
My husband and I went to see Eric Clapton on Sunday. 22nd June. It was our 25th wedding anniversary celebration and my husbands 68th birthday. Erics guitar playing did not disappoint. It was as clever as usual and extremely slick. However, we did think he could have introduced the band, or even thanked them. We had no idea who they were until we looked it up on the internet after the show. We thought it was rude not to say hello and it would have been helpful to have introduced the songs or said a bit about them. We enjoyed the venue though. We would certainly visit the First Direct again.
Mad Phil, 05/07/14
Very expensive food and drink. Having said that, an otherwise excellent venue for a show of this magnitude. At last the really top acts can come to Leeds; in the past weve had to travel to Manchester, Sheffield or London to get to see top line entertainment.
Eric Clapton (05/07/14) - All Time Great
What a show on my first visit to the new Leeds Arena! Top class music played by top class musicians. We were treated to many of his classics - hes been around for 50 years, so he couldnt play them all in a 90 minute set!. Different class. Say no more.
Martin J Scott, 04/07/14
Eric Clapton (04/07/14) - Awesome
Just to be in the same building as Eric was amazing, but to hear him play and sing just blew me away. Eric Is God!!!
Peachy, 04/07/14
Great venue. Great view wherever you sit. I love the fact its in the centre of Leeds with good parking and great transport links.Brilliant for Leeds. Long overdue.
The Eagles (04/07/14) - Great event!!
Best concert ever! Fabulous musicians. 31 songs ..the numbers just kept coming & coming. Brilliant venue as well.
Fifi, 04/07/14
Parking horrendous we were told it would take an hour to get out of the car park though it did actually only take half an hour. Massive queues to get into the arena and again had to queue to get out. Dont bother with tickets on the third tier, the stage is a long way away and the screens are small and our middle screen view was partly blocked by speakers. The seats are very steep and very long rows so you have to get up constantly to let others pass. Would pay more next time and get seats at floor level. If you park get there early to get a space on a lower level in the car park.
The Eagles (04/07/14) - Amazing show
Fantastic musicians and a brilliant show. The acoustics were very good and I would go again if I had the chance.
Alberts mum, 04/07/14
First visit to Leeds arena quite impressed , great sized venue with good views of stage, easy access, lots of parking close by but........ Long queues to get in slow to move would have been a nuisance if weather was wet
The Eagles (04/07/14) - Amazing!!!
The History of The Eagles 3 hours of hits sounding just as good as they did in the 70s. Amazing night of music loved every minute!
Jaysholme, 03/07/14
The stewards were s**t, once the main auditorium lights had gone down, basically they asked you to go find your seats by yourselves once they had pointed in the correct direction, even though the row numbers were definately NOT VISIBLE in low lights. Tier 3 - handle rails - one minute there are there and then they not!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT IMPRESSED WITH VENUE
Eric Clapton (03/07/14) - No audience commuinication
EC hardly talked to audience eg introducing his band, just did his guitar playing then obviously wanted to get back to his hotel