Green Day open Saturday's bill at Reading Festival

Reading Festival 2012 review

published: Tue 28th Aug 2012

Green Day

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2012
Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EQ, England MAP
Friday or Saturday £85, Sunday day tickets and weekend tickets sold out
daily capacity: 90000
last updated: Mon 27th Aug 2012

around the festival site (Saturday)
That expected Green Day set kicks things off damn early with a set that rapidly becomes a closed off gig with half the fieldt empty and loads of space around it unfilled on either side. The show in NME stage was walled off with the big screens on the main stage braodcasting the show to the massed ranks of disappointed people who arrived to find green fencing blocking off the NME tent.

Green Day
The show itself it's a polished entertaining and a fantastic start to the day, if a bit controlled by the festival and their agenda. From the opening of 'Welcome to Paradise' we realised it wouldn't be 'Dookie' in full, and crowd pleasers 'Know Your Enemy' and 'Holiday' even saw circle pits form in front of the main stage! The set was longer than most anticipated with 16 songs in all including 'Basket Case'. Before the toilet roll gun was drawn a pretend dragging off stage was done, and the main stage screens blinked off. Up at the NME the crowds were now let in and the band continued with and ‘American Idiot', 'Minority' and 'She'.

Los Campesinos! were the band given the task of opening the main stage with one of the largest crowds ever gathered at that time of day, and the sun came out too to make us swelter in the heat. Over in the Dance Tent (I still think having a dance day is a good one – controversial) and Clement Marfo & the Frontline get the crowd circle pitting with 'Champion' (dedicated to Usain Bolt) and 'Get Rowdy' and the tent is full of dust as we dance the night's excesses off.

Pure Love (crowd)
A double bass beat and a roaring crowd drag me over to Pure Love, Frank off of Gallows new band, and they're a big change in direction for the hard core punk. This is mellow edged rock, and the crowd lap it up. For 'Anthem' Frank requests a talk back as the microphone lead they have given him this year is too short for him to disappear into the crowd, and he walks the pit lane instead if climbing in. But, it all gets too much for him and he forward rolls in. Frank then commands some giant beach balls for the crowd as presents but we are already won over, by 'Handsome Devils Club'. I go to watch a little of Black Moth fronted by Harriet Hyde, with a bit of old school riffage and some Sabbath inspired tunes I rather like their sound.

Oberhofer
After a bit of a singalong to the rather choral Mystery Jets it's up to the dance tent for Grimes with 'Oblivion', 'Be A Body', and 'Genesis', stepping through what's becoming a rather scruffy site, after the surprise tidiness of yesterday. I move on to Oberhofer and their catchy material. This year's Mumford and Sons (2010) slot is filled by Dry The River, who attract a primarily older crowd, and look rather out of place on a rock bill to start with, they play to an ardent if half empty tent, and show through some exactly why they are here with some great guitar work. Raising whoops of adulation intermittently as they play the largest stage they have ever played, they joke that the massive pit is there to stop bottles of piss hitting them as they deliver seven gems including 'New Ceremony', 'Weights & Measures', 'Demons', and 'No Rest'.

What better at a festival than a woop woop rave up with Feed Me followed by Santigold to clear the disappointment of OFWGKTA who just aren't the same attraction on the big outdoor stage that they were indoors last year. Santigold gives us a visually pleasing singalong hit laiden set, although the crowd is much reduced on what I was expecting. It turns out they are all at Jake Bugg. Who delivers a set including crowd favourite 'Lightening Bolt' and new song '2 Fingers' and all the frogs (real wildlife ones) that were there yesterday have gone from the blasted grass.

Santigold
After a bit of exciting ear melting rock from HildaMay I follow the crowd to Modestep who had packed the dance tent for those not mashed on horse drugs who were still in the campsite and "sent to outer space". Whatever happened to Swedish indie poppers Miike Snow? The audience they attract hardly make a dent in the gaping space of the tent, very different to the packed dance tent next door. Although 'Pretender' and 'Black and Blue' has the various onesies at the front leaping around like a menagerie on the loose.

We Are The In Crowd
Back at the main stage Enter Shikari are driving a frothy crowd into a dust cloud, and you can be sure they will always put on a show at Reading. Jaguar Skills has us winding and the crowd waddling with some classic tv theme mixes and a rock dub step mash up, could be he's cooking up a rain dance as the weather closes in. We Are The In Crowd are late as I opt to take shelter in the Festival Republic stage, which turns out to be a decent decision, and I enjoy their set. The Vaccines have as their new album says 'Come Of Age' and they have certainly done it at Reading this year, stepping up to the main stage and drawing a sizeable crowd. A certainty for a future headlining slot.

There's a surprisingly small crowd for The Shins, where as Azealia Banks has packed the tent, god knows why I last nearly a whole song. Lower Than Atlantis are another band on the up and there's a sizeable crowd to see then too. The heavens open before Florence + The Machine take to the stage and we get rather wet waiting for her arrival.

around the festival site (Saturday)
As the light falls and the strings of changing colour lights spring into life, Florence delivers an ethereal set. As the rain falls and the light fades, she intones this song is quite fitting and 'Look What The Water Gave Me' follows. Whilst we are in what's becoming a bit of a swamp (especially in the leaky roofed NME stage) Florence feels she is in a swimming pool apparently, but its not rained that much. Her voice irks me slightly and I am starting to miss the sound of guitars, having to settle for a harp. As she has wet shoes she takes them off for 'Rabbit Heart', as she asks the crowd to be "raised up" on shoulders. She skips around the pit barefoot, as the clouds gather overhead. I wonder how clean the floor there is as looking around my feet I wonder why with the food available not cheap there's so much dumped on the floor. As night falls proper 'Leave My Body', and 'Breaking Down' are followed by 'Shake It Out' as the heavens open. The shower isn't sustained and as the rain stops we get 'The Dog Days Are Over'. I'm amazed I've stayed through the whole set as she concludes with 'Never Let Me Go' and 'No Light, No Light'.

Taking to the stage to the Jaws music, Kasabian take to the stage. Spotlights criss cross the stage to 'Days Are Forgotten' and the crowd explode in unison to 'Shoot The Runner' and its clear Kasabian can pull off tonight's headline slot. They keep the crowd happy with their older material like 'L.S.F' and even new material like 'Velociraptor' illicits a decent, if slightly reduced response. Okay, clearly the songs less well known by those around me are a little quiet but the older material is known by nearly everyone. Lead singer, Tom Meighan at one point says look to the skies and they play the ET theme tune, perhaps tonight as a homage to Neil Armstrong who died only an hour beforehand. They end with a roaring 'Fire' and an a capella version by Meighan of The Beatles' 'She Loves You', and the crowd repeat it as they head off into the night.

Kasabian
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams / Scott Williams

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2012
Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EQ, England MAP
Friday or Saturday £85, Sunday day tickets and weekend tickets sold out
daily capacity: 90000
last updated: Mon 27th Aug 2012


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