La Dispute (6/10)
After Gerard Way and Red Fang opened up the NME tent, it was time for scene staple, La Dispute. Opening with ‘HUDSONVILLE MI 1956’, the band crashed through seven songs, five of which were from their latest album, ‘Rooms of the House’, leaving only two songs from sophomore release ‘Wildlife’, and nothing from their debut. Despite the disappointing set list, the band got the first mosh pits of the day and had the whole crowd going absolutely nuts, although the absence of usual closer ‘King Park’ left many disappointed. Jordan Dreyer was his usual animated self while musically the band crashed through their songs whilst Dreyer jumped and span around them, bleeding from his mouth from the word go.
Deaf Havana (7/10)
Over on the main stage, Deaf Havana had graduated from the NME tent, and went about making the most of the brief sunshine. The set was mainly songs from ‘Old Souls’, plus one debut of a new track, named ‘Drive All Night‘. The atmosphere would have really suited a tent more but ‘Hunstanton Pier’ in the sun was a lush highlight of the early afternoon and prompted a mass singalong. While the band were on form, a poor setlist that lacked tracks such as ‘I’m A Bore, Mostly’ and closed with ‘Caro Padre‘ meant that this was simply good, and nothing more.
Enter Shikari (8/10)
Straight from the off, it was clear Enter Shikari were a crowd favourite, and the main stage was absolutely crushed with the sheer volume of people waiting to see the St. Albans’ mob. Musically the band band was on top form but an absence of ‘Mothership’ and other old crowd pleasers shadowed the set. Rou was on top form, and as usual peppered the set with the socially concious speeches that become common in the bands music and live performances. Despite this, the crowd lapped it up and they were undoubtably the best received thus far.
Jimmy Eat World (9/10)
Following on from their triumphant set earlier in the day, the worst kept secret of Reading festival, Jimmy Eat World got under way, as they played their 2004 masterpiece, ‘Futures’. The Lock Up stage was absolutely rammed and endless chants of “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy” preceded a late start. Once they did start, however, the emo veterans put on one of the highlights of the entire festival. ‘Work’, ‘Kill’, ‘Polaris’ and ’23’ sounded more gorgeous than ever, as the whole crowd sang every single word back. The entire band looked visibly surprised at the huge reaction, and it was well deserved. After the album was concluded, the crowd refused to dissipate, so the band came on to perform three more songs from ‘Bleed American’ to just as huge a reaction. The set spilled well into Paramore’s set over on the main stage, but not a single smart person left. They were witnessing something special.
Joint headlining the Friday, but performing first, Paramore put on a highly commendable show. Despite some very poor crowd interaction from Hayley Williams, the band put on an incredible performance and showed off a higher level of musicianship than most would have expected. Dinosaur girl was a highlight. A power cut during ‘The Only Exception’ led to an acoustic rendition of the song, before Williams invited a fan dressed a dinosaur on stage for ‘Misery Business’, and surprisingly, she was an incredible singer! Ending with ‘Aint It Fun’, the band undoubtedly proved many people wrong who doubted their ability to be so high up the bill, and despite getting the only rain of the day, had the whole crowd dancing like no one else.
Queens Of The Stone Age (8/10)
It’s no secret that Queens Of The Stone Age were the least anticipated headline act this year. It took exactly two songs to prove why that was bullshit. Second song ‘No One Knows’ had a mass singalong, before ‘My God Is The Sun’ kept up the hugely impressive performance that combined atmosphere with huge musical chops. Singer Josh Homme strutted around stage,, as his riffs sent the crowd wild. The set did a good job of putting their bigger hits at regular intervals and they ended with a four song triumph of ‘Make It Wit Chu’, ‘Sick Sick Sick’, ‘Go With The Flow’ and ‘A Song For The Dead’. They ended the first day of Reading on a massive high.
Written by Sam Cowen.