LIVE: Reading Festival [Saturday]

By Ben Tipple

Cobwebs. What cobwebs? Any reveller that might have been feeling a little tender early on the Saturday morning is quick to have it shaken off by Japanese phenomenon, Babymetal. Sitting somewhere between brilliant and fundamentally creepy, the trio are the biggest spectacle of the weekend – and rightly so. Whether the music is to everyone’s taste remains debatable, but their perfect stage direction and cleverly manufactured personas are not just intriguing; it’s downright addictive. [BT]

FIDLAR provide a comparably demure experience on the Main Stage, but their energetic and angst ridden skate-punk sounds just a brilliant in a big setting. With more than a few nods to their specifically made backdrop, vocalist and guitarist Zac Carper allows his untraditional personality to shine through. ‘West Coast’, as well as being one of the best songs of the summer, proves to be one of the best songs of the weekend. FIDLAR are rising quickly, and deservedly so. [BT]

There’s a few tears in eyes as Marmozets take their triumphant place on the Main Stage. Although not unexpected, their rise to this point has been meteoric since the release of their seminal ‘The Weird And Wonderful…’ debut. Frontperson Becca Macintyre has subtly evolved into a crowd-dominating machine, now matched by drumming brother Josh who encourages the crowd from the top of his kit. ‘Captivate You’, the song that showed their promise only twelve months prior, sounds absolutely huge, but it’s as Becca’s increasingly note perfect tones turns to screams that Marmozets show their ferocious true colours. [BT]


Despite playing a fairly early slot on the Main Stage, Modestep still manage to whip the crowd up into an unbelievable frenzy. Their crowd interaction is fantastic, and the response from the audience is unreal. It’s not often you see such a frantic crowd in the early afternoon, but Modestep have well and truly managed it. [LMW]

Despite the fact that No Devotion are formed from the ashes of Lostprophets and Thursday, their sound is closer to bands like Joy Division and New Order than their previous projects. The Pit is full of people curious to see how they sound live, and they’re not disappointed. With songs like ‘Addition’ and ‘Eyeshadow’ in their set, it’s an unsurprising success. There’s a lot more to come from No Devotion. [LMW]

Pierce The Veil have got a great turnout at the Main Stage today, and they seem to appeal to the same kind of audience as All Time Low. Frontman Vic Fuentes is a big hit with the fans, and their catchy songs go down an absolute storm, especially set closer ‘King For A Day’, which never fails to ignite a singalong. [LMW]

Although debate exists over whether Alexisonfire have been absent long enough to celebrate a reunion, their Main Stage appearance has unquestionably drawn in some of this weekend’s crowd. Sounding as good as they always have, Dallas Green’s vocals particularly draw from his subsequent and concurrent City & Colour project. With George Pettit promising to clear things up before launching into ’44. Calibre Love Letter’, the audience is left just as confused as to whether this is a long-term thing. Either way, every song provides its only little nugget of perfect nostalgia, not least ‘This Could Be Anywhere In The World’. [BT]


PVRIS is something of a buzz word right now, and rightly so. Their debut album ‘White Noise’ is so powerful that people everywhere are sitting up and taking note. Lynn Gunn is one of the most kickass vocalists around, and today it’s a struggle to get anywhere near The Pit to see them. With bangers like ‘My House’ and ‘St Patrick’ under their belt, there is no way this band are not going to be huge in the very near future. [LMW]

A rare venture to the Festival Republic stage allows us to witness Radkey playing to a somewhat minimal crowd. Although their grittier, darker take on punk is yet to grab the mainstream’s attention, their abundant attitude is clear as they perform tracks from their ‘Dark Black Makeup’ debut. [BT]

Atreyu were away on hiatus for a while, but luckily, they are well and truly back. Today they take The Pit by storm, opening with the mighty ‘Becoming The Bull’ and launching straight into arguably their biggest hit ‘Right Side Of The Bed’. At one point, the bassist comes into the crowd and spends the entire song wandering through the tent playing, causing a frenzy both on and offstage. It’s clear to see from the crowd’s response that a hell of a lot of people are psyched on Atreyu’s return, and from the great new songs they play during their incredibly set tonight, it’s clear they’ve got a lot more ahead of them. [LMW]

Bring Me The Horizon might be one of the most talked about bands over the weekend. Having evolved from their death-metal inspired early material to the alternative powerhouse they are today, many are keen to see how material from ‘That’s The Spirit’ will translate to a festival environment. Ultimately, it’s a bit hit and miss. Ollie Sykes is clearly a formidable frontman, holding the crowd in the palm of his hand, yet his vocal performance is heavily supported by backing tracks and he fails to emit the power he demonstrates in his screams. The overall show is unquestionably stunning, but there’s still some work to do before Bring Me The Horizon own the festival. [BT]

Tonight’s headliners are Metallica, who are the only metal headliners of the weekend (alongside the noticeably mellower Mumford & Sons and The Libertines). When you book Metallica as your headliner, you know exactly what you’re getting: a suitably big show. Word on the street (or field, if we’re being pedantic) is that this is Reading’s biggest ever production, but this is quite hard to believe next to the Rammsteins and Muses of the world. It was never going to be easy to play amongst rising starts, but Metallica have been doing this for a very long time and are probably the most legitimate old pros in the business. Cracking out all the hits (‘Sad But True’, ‘Enter Sandman’ etc), unleashing some spectacular giant balls (not in a rude way…) and then finally setting off some fireworks is a sure-fire way to give the crowds what they want, and that’s just what Metallica have done here tonight. [LMW]