Blink 182 – Reading Festival



In all fairness, with the transformation of the Lock Up stage into the Dance Arena my work here is pretty much done. Sunday?s line up is certainly more to the liking of Andy Punktastic and Tom Aylott, not to mention El Capitano, Paul Savage (I believe he caught this line up in Leeds yesterday). However, if Sunday is a day off, it?s proves to be a bit of a busman?s holiday.

MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK doesn?t have what it takes to blow off those Sunday morning cobwebs. Whilst there?s nothing particularly wrong with the Minneapolis quintet, the band fails to force its way out of second gear, the result being a pretty standard early main stage set. Much more suited to slightly more intimate surroundings. (2/5)

THE KING BLUES on the other hand make like this sort of stage is anything but out of the ordinary. A tight, reeled-in performance still sees frontman Itch Fox passionately stirring up a beehive, not to mention the front row, whilst a career spanning setlist appeases new fans and old. The band?s homage to the UK underground ska scene is poignant, and regardless of your opinion of the current direction of The King Blues, this is the sort of showing that will have tongues wagging. (4.5/5)

As good a band as THRICE is, these early main stage slots really do not suit. In 2004 the band seemed dwarfed by the mammoth platform, and whilst the Cali quartet at least seems comfortable enough this time out, the atmospheric and progressive aspect of the band?s music is almost lost completely before it makes it over the security barrier. Stick this mob in a darkened tent and you?re talking a completely different entity, but across a vast field and grey skies it just doesn?t work. (2/5)

ALL TIME LOW on the other hand looks like a band that?s made for festival slots. Quick, joking, and slightly perverted, the pop-rock/punk (whatever) quartet is a menace to anything in a bikini top, and holds the attention. Until a horrendous downpour that is. (3/5)

By the time LIMP BIZKIT enter the fracas, it?s a bright, sunshiny day. Perfect weather for what turns out to be a heavyweight set of ?dead? nu-metal. Limp Bizkit are by no means Punktastic?s target material, but for the record, this is one hell of a performance. It may practically be a rehash of a 2003 set, but what else would you have wanted. It?s not big; it?s not clever; but it?s a shitload of fun. (4.5/5)

Likewise, CYPRESS HILL, a band that?s never going to bother the PT radar all that much, but one that puts on an incredible live performance nonetheless. ?Ain?t Going Out Like That? and ?Insane In the Brain? hark back to the early nineties (and still sound as good as they did when I was a teenager), whilst ??Rock/Rap Superstar? and newbie, ?Rise Up?, sound big. Big! Nostalgic, yes. Enjoyable, yes. (4.5/5)

And then, closing out what proves to be an incredible triumvirate of performances, WEEZER goes and blows all else away. Rivers Cuomo, sans guitar for most of the set, runs around, climbs things, dives in the mud, and generally just larks about. It?s a truly bizarre scene from a man normally conserved and stoic. Then there?s the setlist: a concoction that belies you to say Weezer can?t write good songs. Covers of Wheatus? ?Teenage Dirtbag? and a MGMT/Lady Gaga medley are just plain riotously funny. All in all it adds up to the performance of the weekend. That?s right: PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND. (And I?m told the Leeds performance was even better!) (5/5)

Which means PARAMORE is left a bit dead in the water. It?s a perfectly acceptable performance, and one that will be singled out by the thousands of die-hards at Hayley Williams? feet, but it?s just a little too safe, and a little too linear. I?ll leave the rest of the PT crew to fill you in on this one. (2.5/5)

And then there was BLINK 182. Oh dear. Scrappy, tacky and simply poor, what should have been a triumphant show turns out to be mediocre and uninspiring. Lacklustre and languid (aside from drummer, Travis Barker), this set feels tired and strained. This is not a band playing out of the love of playing. Still, when this many thousands of fans have been waiting so long (what is it, five years?) for the band to return, it was always going to be a heroes welcome. It?s a shame then that Blink 182 got played off the stage by more than a few acts today. (1.5/5)