Monday, 25 August 2014

Reading Festival - Day One

Paramore's Hayley Williams..pic by Marc Sethi
IT'S not often you get joint headliners so different from one another as we did on Friday night.

Paramore were up first - upbeat, young, fresh, vibrant. Then it was Queens of the Stone Age - slower, older, cooler and more laid back.

But it worked.

Delayed by motorway traffic and the nonsense of having to park a half hour's march (at best) away from the festival site, RealSoundsOK arrives too late to see Mallory Knox on the NME stage- the first 'must see' band of the weekend.

The wonders of modern technology have now allowed me to watch a cracking set. But it would've been great to be there. And so our first band of the day are Twin Atlantic, who do just the job of getting me back in the mood with poppy-rock offerings.

We also took in a bit of Jimmy Eat World on the Main stage, but not enough to write home (or to you) about. 

We're back there soon enough though for Enter Shikari who are an early highlight. Although the setlist was missing a few of my personal favourites, the likes of Sorry, You're Not A Winner had the crowd bouncing.

There were a few confused faces as frontman Rou Reynolds later paid tribute to the NHS - mainly among those who miss the band's political messages in song - but the band were very well received.
Enter Shikari's Rou takes a jump...pic by Joshua Halling

But after a highlight came something of a lowlight. Aside from A-punk and Holiday, I don't know many Vampire Weekend tracks but was open to hearing a much-praised band. However, as much as I wanted to like them, the music was just too laid back and - to be honest - I got bored.

And so I was looking forward to being geed up by pop-rockers Paramore at the business end of the day. Having seen them play at Wembley Arena a few months before, I knew what to expect - and they delivered, despite the sounds troubles thrown at them.

Kicking off with the incredibly girly Still Into You, they followed with classics like That's What You Get, Ignorance and Decode before the troubles set in. About to slow things down, Hayley Williams' mic went midway through one of her passionate speeches to fans. 

She looked miffed as the boos rang out - against the silence, not her - before she was informed of the cut.

Long story short, she was handed the only working mic and began to sing The Only Exception to all intents and purposes a cappella. She was accompanied by acoustic guitar and bass, which the crowd only started to hear halfway through the track. The drums and other guitars coming in late on actually made for a perfectly framed performance and the whole experience showed what a class frontwoman Williams is.

With the sound back up, albeit substandard, they continued with the likes of Brick By Boring Brick, Misery Business (with fan help as per) before finishing with Proof and Aint It Fun.

There were no such problems for Queens Of The Stone Age - even if the start was a little underwhelming.
Queens Of The Stone Age close the day...pic by Marc Sethi

They kicked off with You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire, a track screamed brilliantly on their Songs For The Deaf album by former bassist Nick Oliveri. But the track sounded gound, the vocals didn't transfer well to Josh Homme's mumbled style.

But that feeling of disappointed was soon smashed away as Homme came up trumps with No One Knows, My God Is The Sun and Burn The Witch.

While Homme's fan interaction wasn't a patch on the talky Hayley Williams before him, the bands superb catalogue made up for it. Little Sister, Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret, I Sat By The Ocean and Make It Wit Chu all followed before they finished with Go With The Flow and Songs For The Dead. What a finish to the day.

No comments:

Post a comment