The Story So Far (7/10)
Opening the main stage on Sunday, and dusting off the hangovers, was The Story So Far. The Walnut Creek quintet hit the stage hard and despite Parker Cannon’s unusually stand off approach to stage banter, the band’s music did all the talking. Opening with ‘Right Here’, the band tore through an impressive twelve songs, with highlights including ‘Roam’, ‘Quicksand’ and ‘Things I Can’t Change’. Despite an awful timeslot and a hugely hungover audience, the band powered through and clearly made an impression on the crowd, who moshed and screamed along with them.
Papa Roach (7/10)
As the sun came out to play, so did thousands of campers to revisit their youth, as Papa Roach took to the main stage. Singer Jacobi Shaddox climbing all over the crowd as his band hit hard and fast, playing hits such as ‘Between Angels And Insects’, ‘Getting Away With Murder’ and anthemic closer ‘Last Resort’, which ended their set on a massive high, as the whole crowd pretended, if just for a few minutes, it was still the year 2000.
Neck Deep (9/10)
Over on the lock up, uk pop-punk high fliers Neck Deep began a set to a hugely overpacked tent. Opening with ‘Losing Teeth’, it took mere seconds for bodies to fly. Singer Ben Barlow immediately got into the crowd, dictating everything from atop the first few rows. ‘Tables Turned’ continues to be the best song the band have in their arsenal, whilst ‘A Part of Me’ had a singalong of epic proportions. On this evidence, it won’t be long before Neck Deep follow in the footsteps of countless others and ascend onto the main stage.
Sleeping With Sirens (5/10)
Over on the main stage, meanwhile, Sleeping With Sirens were taking over from Papa Roach. Unfortunately they fared nowhere near as well. Songs such as ‘If I’m James Dean’ and ‘If You Can’t Hang’ went down well, but a patch of 4 or 5 unknown songs, and a majority crowd who looked decidedly unimpressed at singer Kellin Quinn’s marmite vocals meant that this was the more disappointing main stage set of the day.
A Day To Remember (8/10)
Packing the main stage, Ocala’s metalcore/pop-punk hybrid A Day To Remember brought the breakdowns to the outdoors, as they tore up Reading. Opening with ‘The Downfall Of Us All’, the crowd erupted in seconds. ‘Homesick’ featured singer Jeremy Mckinnon running on top of the crowd in a giant inflatable ball, whilst ‘If It Means A Lot To You’ had the afternoons biggest sing a long whilst they filmed a music video. McKinnon’s vocals were a little poor, but this could not detract from a very fun and crowd pleasing set.
The Wonder Years (9/10)
Back at the Lock Up, The Wonder Years began a set that destroyed the tent and left the crowd drenched. Focusing mostly on their latest album, The Greatest Generation, the sextet ripped through all their biggest hits, and had the crowd jumping from start to finish. Final song ‘Came Out Swinging’ had crowd surfers galore, as the security failed to help everyone down due to the sheer volume of bodies. As usual the band was effortlessly perfect, sounding meticulously close to their on-record sound. When the last notes rang out, the band received an ovation, as the crowd left, covered in cheap beer and sweat.
You Me At Six (8/10)
Over at the main stage, You Me At Six were entertaining a large crowd with their crowd pleasing pop rock. An appearance from Alex Gaskarth coincided with a joint tour announcement, as the screams rang out in joy. Musically the band were on form, and Josh Francheski’s vocals were typically on point. The set highlight was a concluding one-two of ‘Bite My Tongue’ and ‘Lived A Lie’, the former showcases Francheski’s screaming ability, whilst the latter is an anthem of epic proportions. You Me At Six continue to grow, and they show no signs of stopping just yet.
Before Letlive. took to the stage, they were announced by the compere as a band that “transcend genre and time”. Nothoing could describe the band better, as they put on a show of breath-taking proportions. Within three songs Jason Butler was wearing a cardboard box on his head and as usual, continued to show his insane stage presence. The crowd ate it up as Letlive. put on one of the best, and most manic, performances of the weekend.
The 1975 (8/10)
Far before The 1975 even took to the stage, the NME tent was packed and spilling outside, to the point where some people were quite literally climbing the tent to get a view. After a great start with ‘The City’ and ‘Money’, the band suffered a lull in their set that saw the more casual viewers walking off (full credit to the man who shouted “Where the fuck is the metal?”). Bringing up and serenading a huge fan during ‘Robbers’ was a sweet touch, and the final three songs of ‘Girls’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’ ensured the most hyped band of the festival closed with not a single person standing still.
After a full weekend of drunken debauchery, who else could close the festival to a crowd that stretched further than the eye could see, but Blink 182? Opening with ‘Feeling This’, the band ripped through 23 songs, featuring all their big hits and a lot of cuts from their self titled 2003 album. Mark Hoppus bounced around the stage like a child on a sugar rush, while Travis Barker showed why he is one of the best and most iconic drummers in rock history. Tom Delonge was on humorous form as usual, which made up for his lack of singing ability, which left him sounding like a parody of himself. There were singalongs in all the right places, ‘I Miss You’ getting the lighters out, and ‘All The Small Things’ inciting Reading’s biggest party, before an encore of ‘Violence’, ‘Dammit’ and ‘Family Reunion’ closed the show with one hell of a bang. If anything is clear, after 22 years, Blink 182 are as good as ever.
Written by Sam Cowen.