Festivals can always be the ideal opportunity to see something new or you can play it safe and witness something you have seen before. This was an experience for me as I was attending the whole 3 days. From how the weekend went I definitely would attend again as I had enjoyed it greatly. Just like 2010 I attended with my sister and we literally witnessed the same bands/ artists.
I had planned whom I wanted to see over the 3 days and I was to start my day off by seeing Dry The River open the NME/ Radio 1 tent at 11.50am. Only to change my decision the night before opting on Findlay who was 2nd on over at the Festival Republic tent. This was basically a punt as I hadn’t heard any material by her prior to attending. Manchester singer Findlay has supported Jake Bugg and has been tipped by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6. This was the first time I had witnessed Natalie Findlay live and I was impressed with what I’d heard.
Currently signed to Joyeux Anniversaire Records this 7 strong set left me with the need to hear more from this talented girl. Natalie isn’t alone when performing, she is also backed by a band which gave each song that extra edge. The performance completely captivated me and the vocals actually reminded me of I Blame Coco. My favourite song that was showcased had to be the energetic Gin On The Jukebox.
Findlay is definitely an artist I will be keeping tabs on.
You Gave Me Grace
Stoned And Alone
Gin On The Jukebox
Off & On
After having witnessed Findlay play it was then to the main stage for New Found Glory. I had never witnessed this band live before. Up until a couple of days before the festival I started to listening to Sticks and Stones (the album that they were performing) and I was surprised how many songs I knew.
New Found Glory are Jordan Pundik, Chad Gilbert, Steve Klein, Ian Grushka and Cyrus Bolooki. They are a pop punk band and they reminded me of both Bowling For Soup and Simple Plan
“So check this out we got a call months ago. The Reading Festival inviting us to play this stage. Obviously because you guys requested us a lot. But they asked us to play our entire Sticks and Stones album for you guys. So that is what we’re going to do for you right now. However they did not check that our record is like 42 minutes and they only gave us 40 minutes” Chad then said before introducing the rest of the band and telling the packed crowd that they weren’t going to speak in between songs. The album that they were playing from front to back was released in 2002 making this the 10th anniversary. I will go as far to say that this is the best full length that they have released as the songs are so catchy.
There was not a single bad track that they performed and plenty of energy flowed from each of the tunes that were played. Also they were so addictive as well. My favourites had to be Understatement, Head On Collision, Forget My Name and All Downhill From Here.
My Friend’s Over You
Something I Call Personality
Head On Collision
It’s Been A Summer
Never Give Up
The Great Houdini
All Downhill From Here
Taking to the stage in a wheelchair was Frank Turner who was paying homage to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana whom also made his entrance in a wheelchair back when they played the festival in 1992. Before Turner’s set I had to endure Bring Me The Horizon and to say that they weren’t my cup of tea is literally an understatement. The bands slot was full of expletives.
Back to Frank Turner now his music has grown on me a lot and I owe this to the fact that when I see him live has been by chance. The event for Record Store Day he happened to be performing and the same goes to when he supported Green Day at Brixton Academy. Maybe I like his music because Frank is backed by The Sleeping Souls. What was performed was a mixture of material from Love Ire & Song, Poetry Of The Dead, England Keep My Bones and the current album Tape Deck Heart. I really enjoyed what was performed and this was probably down to the fact that a band was backing him unlike the short set that was played at Brixton.
Four Simple Words
If Ever I Stray
Try This At Home
Long Live The Queen
The Way I Tend To Be
I Still Believe
After Frank it was then onto Deftones which was followed by System Of A Down. Neither band I am actually a fan of but when you have a good spot when you want to see the headline band you wouldn’t want to surrender it. Out of those two groups it was alt rockers System Of A Down whose material I knew. Well I say knew but I was only familiar with 2 songs and these being Chop Suey! and Toxicity. The set which was sung consisted of 17 tunes and the majority were taken from sophomore album Toxicity (7) and the rest were taken from debut System Of A Down (4), Mezmerize (3), Hypnotize (2) and Steal This Album (1).
Soldier Side – Intro
Headlining the first day of Reading were Green Day. After having attended the club show at Brixton Academy I couldn’t help feel disappointed. They played an epic 31 song set but what disappointed me was the fact that this was exactly the same as the Brixton show. I expected something different. Yes it was pretty much a given that the whole of Dookie was going to be played from front to back bit I expected something new. The fact that they sound checked Loss Of Control at Brixton heightened my assumptions.
Green Day were amazing as ever. Even though this was exactly the same set that they played at Brixton I wasn’t that down hearten because what was performed was superb. It was also nice to hear Dookie again as that is my favourite Green Day albums alongside American Idiot. Also the tunes on the Trilogy were tremendous and I thought that having 99 Revolutions opening the evening was a good choice as I found it to be utterly infectious.
The performance of Dookie was simply phenomenal behind them was a massive backdrop which showed the album cover. Even though Billie Joe said they were performing it from the front to the back they didn’t. What they missed out was All By Myself which Tre Cool sings and it appeared hidden on this album. Apart from that this was over in a flash. It was probably because I enjoyed it so much and the fact that some of the songs are rather short. Each song could have been a potential single 20 years ago. Also hearing Highway To Hell before When I Come Around was a surprise.
Things came to a close with St. Jimmy, Waiting and Minority. The memorable moment being when Billie Joe Armstrong threw his guitar onto the ground during the end of Waiting. I found this to be really hypnotizing. The reason why the guitar was flung to the floor was probably down to the fact he was having trouble tuning up.
It wasn’t that long until they returned back to the stage At only 3 songs this encore was almost 20 minutes long. The reason for this being the fact Jesus Of Suburbia is around 9 minutes long. Now I adore that as it features multiple songs in just the one track. American Idiot started off as a mass sing along. The 1st encore ended with a brand new song and this being Brutal Love. This was smooth, sombre and it became more stronger towards the end.
Once over Billie Joe took to the stage for what was the 2nd encore. What ended the night was an acoustic Good Riddance and I really did have the time of my life.
Know Your Enemy
Stay The Night
Stop When The Red Lights Flash
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Let Yourself Go
Wake Me Up When September Ends
Having A Blast
Welcome To Paradise
Highway To Hell/ When I Come Around
In the End
Jesus Of Suburbia
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)