I missed the very beginning of their set due to hanging around at Limp Bizkit for a little too long – that damn ‘Golden Cobra’ is too catchy! But a reliable source informed me that I’d only missed the first song, ‘Jetlag’, so it wasn’t that much of a problem. Once I got there I had a brilliant time, and you could tell that the band were loving it too, with vocalist Pierre Bouvier hardly standing still through their entire set.
If you want to have jolly good fun and a massive singalong, go to a Simple Plan show. With ‘JUMP!’ being mashed up with The Black Eyed Peas ‘I Gotta Feeling’, and a selection of their greatest hits ranging from the melancholy ‘Welcome To My Life’ through to the smash hit ‘Summer Paradise’. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t choose to include songs off of their self-titled album, but in a short festival set often songs will be overlooked – it just gives me even more of a reason to go to one of their headline shows in the future.
The best moment was definitely ‘Boom’, which had only been released at five in the morning on the Friday. This meant it was brand spanking new to most of the tent inhabitants, but with the energy from the band you’d think it was one of their most well-known songs – the dancing and jumping didn’t flag in the slightest.
If you haven’t been to a Simple Plan show, what are you doing with your life? I can’t wait for them to come back and announce more shows, especially knowing that their new album will be arriving in a few months.
I was majorly disappointed with Mumford and Sons. It might have been because of the section of the set that I saw, because it was dull, dreary and utterly depressing. The extended intro to ‘Thistle and Weeds’ lost the attention of most of the crowd members, and it was one of the smallest crowds I’d ever seen a headliner pull. It all just seemed a bit obscure.
Normally, I love Mumford and Sons. I think their music is something a bit different, a welcome relief from the rest of the generic music on the radio. But that just doesn’t come across in a live environment. Yes, ‘The Cave’ sounded just as brilliant as it normally does, but with hardly any interaction with the crowd it meant that the gaps between songs felt too extended and left me with an uncomfortable feeling – you shouldn’t be feeling that anticipatory and impatient at a headline show.
Dressed To Kill
Modern Life Is War
Mumford and Sons
New Found Glory
Special mention: The biggest crowd pulled on Saturday was definitely for main stage openers Babymetal. Despite the fact that I went along to see them, I still don’t understand the appeal – in fact, I think I’m more confused now than I was beforehand.
In one of the most exciting secret sets ever, it was finally time for Foals to return to Reading festival. This wasn’t much of a secret, as organiser Melvin Benn had hinting about “wild horses” playing a set before the festival kicked off, but it was still bloody exciting.
The only Foals songs I really loved before this set were ‘Mountain at the Gates’ and ‘What Went Down’, but I was pleasantly surprised by the rest of their set. Yes, it was short, but it was also utterly sweet. The amount of people sprinting across the field and straight into the tent was testament to how well-loved this band are, and when they shared the fact that it was their first time in this tent since 2008, it really drove home how special this moment was.
‘What Went Down’ was my personal favourite, but I think for a large portion of the attendants this was their favourite set of the weekend. If Foals don’t headline the entire festival within the next couple of years it’ll be a massive surprise.
Mountain at the Gates
Red Socks Pugie
What Went Down
(*) provided by Jo Thompson – thank you so much!
I was only just getting into Alexisonfire when they announced they were splitting up, so the arrival of their reunion tour this year was magic to my ears. In all honesty, I hadn’t listened to them much since their split (with the exception of ‘Young Cardinals’) so I didn’t really know any of their songs going into this set, but it was still one hell of a performance.
With three vocalists (George Pettit, Wade MacNeil and Dallas Green) the variety of sound is a breath of fresh air – you can’t really get bored during their set because it’s constantly switching around and keeping you interested. George’s abrasive stage persona is also certainly something to watch – he’s the angriest member of the band, for sure, so it’s brilliant to see him charging up and down the stage screaming all of their lyrics. This, combined with the fact that he ripped through his shirt and ended up running around shirtless (even if it did take around three songs for him to completely tear through it) meant he was definitely the most fun member to watch – even if he might not be the most talented.
I definitely preferred Dallas Green’s vocal efforts over George and Wade. It was my first time experiencing any of their voices in a live environment (I’ve missed Gallows and City and Colour at Reading festival over the last two years!) but I was surprised at how flawless Dallas sounded. Sometimes, when hearing bands with screamo and normal vocals live I end up being disappointed by the clean vocalist – I don’t know why, it just seems to happen for me almost every time. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t happen with Dallas – if anything, his voice seemed even more on point than it normally does on the recordings.
No one really knows what’s going on with Alexisonfire at this point: is this reunion for good? Will there be a new album? Or is this officially the end? Either way, I’m excited to finally find out – come on, guys, give us some news!
We Are The Sound
.44 Caliber Love Letter
Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints
This Could Be Anywhere in the World
Bands I saw on Saturday:
The Riptide Movement
Pierce The Veil
Bring Me The Horizon