Panic! At The Disco
Pretty sure my ovaries exploded when Brendon Urie strutted out on stage in his fabulous spangly jacket. Despite having sound issues, his voice is incredible live – an amazing range and flawless falsetto means tackling a cover of Bohemian Rhapsody came easily. With crowdsurfers as far back as the sound desk, their set got a lotta love – including MEGA singalongs to closing track I Write Sins Not Tragedies.
Beartooth are badass. Seriously, one of the most intense pits I saw all weekend happened during their sets. If you don’t know about Beartooth, they’re an American metal band who mix brutal instrumental assaults with solid and infectious choruses – resulting in chaos, carnage and one hell of a show. With the entire tent ‘woah-oh’-ing along to In Between, expect impressive things from these guys.
Years and Years
A curveball if there ever was one. Years and Years definitely don’t make the kind of music I usually listen to – and if it wasn’t for my liveblog coverage, I wouldn’t have seen them. I’m actually really glad I did. Despite the fact I couldn’t even get into the packed tent and the heavens threatening to open any second, I was transported away to a sunshine-soaked party resort by the slinky beats and Olly Alexander’s stunning vocals. Even though I only recognised a couple of tracks, I couldn’t help join in the dancing fever that seemed to take over the whole area. Amazing.
Having been to both of their farewell shows at Brixton Academy back in 2012 , Alexisonfire were obviously at the top of my must-see bands list. They totally didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, the more ‘casual’ festival crowd weren’t as enthusiastic as they could have been but fans packing out the front area totally made up for it by singing at the tops of our voices to the likes of ‘Boiled Frogs’, ‘Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints’ and ‘This Could Be Anywhere In The World’. Vocalists George Pettit and Dallas Green were on top form as ever – the former delivering brutal assaults and the later beautiful melodies. Also, shout out to George’s highly appreciated slowly disappearing t-shirt. #theonlydadbodever
Quite simply my festival set of the year. I first saw this band back somewhere in the 00s opening for a band I now can’t remember, and frankly, they were absolutely dreadful. From one of the worst live sets I’ve ever seen to one of the best, Oli and co. have grown into one of the biggest, most exciting bands on the British metal scene, and to me they’re one of our generation’s defining alternative acts. The new material translated amazingly to a live setting – despite my professed dislike of recent single Happy Song, I was singing at the top of my lungs to it. Ending on the anthemic Drown, it feels like the Reading crowd had just witnessed something pretty damn special. Headline material, for sure.
I had such an amazing time at Reading – even though the crowd weren’t always great, hanging out with lovely friends both old and new and seeing some of the most awesome bands made it a wonderful festival weekend. I’ve been lucky enough to attend five festivals this summer, more than I’ve ever done before and a few of those have actually been as press. I’ve been writing (unpaid) about music since I was in college, and to be offered these opportunities to cover festivals I love is something I’m ridiculously honoured to be able to do. I’ve never particularly chased paid journalism work or thought about it as a career – I do it because I love seeing live music, sharing new finds and just the whole buzz of being involved somewhat in supporting people creating music that has truly made an incredibly massive impact on my life. Genuinely, I’m in awe of the opportunities I’ve had this year and feel ridiculously grateful that the amount of work and effort I’ve put into something I love to do is actually being recognised.
And also in awe of Bring Me The Horizon still.
Were you at Reading/Leeds? Who did you enjoy?