Thursday, 8 September 2011

Seen It>> Reading Festival - Friday 26.8.2011

12.00-12.35//Pulled Apart By Horses//Opening proceedings on the new NME tent, were Leeds alternative rock quartet PABH. The boys played host to several tracks from their debut self-titled album, as well as launching new songs such as "Wolf Hand" and "Shake Off the Curse."

12.55-13.40//The Blackout//The Welsh post-hardcore rockers returned to the Berkshire festival, with a new album, "Hope", in tow. It was earlier tracks such as "Children of the Night" and "ShutTheFuck Uppercut" that had the teenage audience starting the circle pits. Vocalist Sean Smith also directed the crowd to throw mud at each other, which they did.

14.30-15.15//Mona//The Nashville, Tennessee based indie band made their Reading and Leeds debut in the NME tent. Their debut self-titled album borrows heavily from U2 and fellow Nashville band, Kings of Leon, but that didn't stop the crowd from singing along to tracks such as "Teenager" and "Listen to your Love."

15.45-16.20//Cerebral Ballzy//The New York punk band brought along bundles of attitude and spiky tunes from across the pond. The Brooklyn quintet were intent on tearing up the Festival Republic stage, which perhaps they could have done, had their songs been longer than 2 mins or so.

16.10-16.55//Rise Against/The Chicago punk band's set was beset by sound problems, cutting out the vocals of Tim McIlrath. However, their energetic Main Stage set included "Help is On the Way", "Prayer of the Refugee" and a Clash cover of "White Riot", inspired by the recent England riots.

17.20-18.15//Deftones//The Californian quartet returned to the festival, with another blinding set on the Main Stage. The mosh pits opened for "Back to School (Mini Maggit)", while frontman Chino Moreno entered the crowd and almost lost his shirt in the process. Moreno also dedicated "Minerva" to bassist Chi Cheng, who has been in a coma since a car accident in November 2008.

18.35-19.35//The Offspring//The Californian punks were back at Reading, for the first time since 2004. One of the best bookings on an overall weak line up, it's fair to say the majority of the crowd weren't too up for their set. However, a large mosh pit opened for "Come Out and Play (Keep 'em Separated)" and stayed open, until "Self Esteem" at the end. Unsurprisingly though, the somewhat subdued crowd truly awoken for party anthem "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)".

20.10-21.10//30 Seconds To Mars//Whether Jared Leto thought he was filming a movie or not is another thing, but the theatrical set from the LA trio was strange and an unwelcome sight to say the least. From Leto entering the stage from the floor, to singing their biggest hit (The Kill) all by himself acoustically, the set was always going to be dominated by Leto's ego, as opposed to watching the band perform. A complete waste of a sub-headline spot.

22.00-23.30//My Chemical Romance//The emo-rockers have much to prove for their headline appearance, given how criticised their booking had been. Playing a host of classic tracks that had the crowd singing along, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", "Helena", "Teenagers" and "Welcome to the Black Parade", whilst a few bland songs from new album "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" also made the cut. While the set was OK at best, and not the mediocre performance many were predicting/hoping for, it's fair to say, the majority of the crowd cheered once Brian May was announced on stage for the encore. A cover of "We Will Rock You" and the aforementioned, "Welcome to the Black Parade", rounded off the set and first day.

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