Reading Festival Review
Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead headline the event…
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 16:17
This year in the battle of music festivals V had a pop-tastic line up while Glastonbury booked classic rock headliners.
Reading and Leeds went and secured three of the biggest bands in the world- Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. Two were a success.
On Friday night at Reading KoL basically admitted they’ve been touring for too long, criticised the audience and then walked off stage early.
The other two headliners definitely compensated. Dressed in black- and with smoke billowing from stage- Arctic Monkeys blasted through their deeper new material and oldies like I Bet You Look Good, Brianstorm and When The Sun Goes Down with a new confidence. Crying Lightning is already a fan favourite while Secret Door sounded beautiful echoing around the field.
When the four-piece topped the Glastonbury bill two years ago they just weren’t ready. But now with three albums to draw from and stage presence their new mentor Josh Homme would be proud of- they were up to the job.
Radiohead had a smaller crowd on Sunday but were reliably brilliant throughout- opening with Creep and The National Anthem and ending their encore with Paranoid Android and Everything In Its Right Place.
The set mixed hits like Just and Karma Police with more recent In Rainbows material and a new track- These Are My Twisted Words. On top of Thom and co’s playing the lighting and visuals were beautifully designed and the group were simply awe-inspiring.
Before Arctics’ on Saturday MTV caught super-group Them Crooked Vultures play a secret set. John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl were all treated with huge cheers by the second stage crowd.
With meaty riffs, 12 string guitars and occasional keys from Jones it’s no surprise labels are battling to sign the group. We can’t wait to hear the album already.
The Maccabees capped a great 2009. A year ago they had a patchy debut album and a small but loyal fanbase. They’ve now released an accomplished second disc and drew a huge crowd at Reading. It’s no wonder they smiled throughout their set.
Back on the main stage The Prodigy have finally found songs that fans love as much as Firestarter and Breathe. Omen, Invaders Must Die and Warrior’s Dance went down as well with raving festival-goers as the 1997 classics.
On Sunday Metronomy proved that their lush electro-pop sound hasn’t changed despite members leaving. In the Festival republic tent Golden Silvers played their hit True Romance first but soon proved they’ve got more tunes to match.
Before Radiohead Bloc Party showed they’re as musically diverse as any indie band with a set that lurched from their crunchy early hits to recent rave tracks like Mercury.
And dressed in ridiculous garms Karen O lead Yeah Yeah Yeahs through festival anthems like Gold Lion, Zero and Off With Their Heads. She also dedicated an acoustic version of Maps to all the lovers at the festival. Ah!
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