21st – 24th August 2014
Saturday – I’ve decided to do a post focussed on each day of the Festival, so this is Day Two, Saturday. This was the big one, the big headliner – the Arctic Monkeys. I was so excited for them the entire day, not helped by the fact that every second person had an AM t-shirt and every one that I saw only increased my excitement. I think that some people were probably
so so so so a little bit annoyed by the time they actually played because of the amount of times I’d reminded them about the fact that they were playing.
The morning was cold and cloudy, and we were ridiculously tired but today was also the date for an amazing cooked breakfast from my friend’s mum, and I am telling you now I have never needed bacon so much before in my entire life. We took our time on Saturday morning because there weren’t too many people that I knew early on Saturday, but got to Fest with time to spare before going to see Peace on the Main Stage.
Having a little trouble finding a good picture of Peace from the Reading Festival Facebook page, which is where I’m getting the good pictures from by the way, you can check it out from any of the links under the pictures I’ve borrowed. I had no idea who or even what genre of music Peace were, but some people seemed to know them and seeing as I didn’t know anyone else I decided that I might as well go and see. I think I might have to look up some of their music again, because it was actually really good. I’m pretty sure that their might have been a couple of songs that I recognised, but I’m not too sure. I loved their style, and even though their lead singer seemed a little bit obnoxious, they were pretty cool. Another band to add to my ever growing list of favourites.
The Hives –
The Hives were a name that I recognised, but was pretty sure that I’d never actually listened to before. This was also a suggestion from friends at the Festival, and I am so glad that I stayed after Peace and watched them. Oh. My. God. What performers. They had such amazing stage presence – so much so that despite not knowing a word I found myself sort of singing along. The puppeteer backdrop was apt, as the lead singer had the entire Main Stage audience in the palm of his hand. He had us all at one point sitting down. I’m talking thousands of people crushed together at a Festival, and we all sat down on the floor when he told us to. I’ve just been looking them up, and have discovered that that slightly strange accent of Pelle Almqvist (lead vocals) is Swedish and that he is always just as awesome as he was at Reading. Seriously I would go read this (yes, it is Wikipedia, but still) article about them, because they have such interesting concepts about their outfits and writing. Really awesome. Pelle has the most arrogant way of involving the crowd, like asking you put your hands up and then repeatedly asking you if he ever gave permission for you to put them down again, and somehow it just works. Somehow you just can’t help but to admire the way he gets you to play right into his hands. Absolutely incredible, and I’m downloading their music basically as we speak.
Foster The People –
I stayed on after The Hives to catch a bit of Foster the People, but I don’t know if it just because I had just had my mind blown to shreds by The Hives but I didn’t really enjoy Foster the People and I did leave early. They didn’t really have the personality, but I’m sure major fans of the band probably enjoyed it.
Imagine Dragons –
Imagine Dragons were someone I had highlighted and ringed in huge circles on my program for the weekend. I can remember when one of my friends sent me On Top Of The World ages ago and I had listened to it and just thought how different and awesome it was. They have quite a unique sound, and most people seem to love them. We had a pretty good view of them as well, and with their signature massive drums they made an impact. I was a tiny bit disappointed in their live perfomance – I can’t quite pinpoint what it was exactly but I wasn’t a hundred percent convinced with their performance. I did enjoy it though, and singing along to all of my favourite songs was pretty awesome. The lead, Dan Reynolds was a pretty awesome guy and he gave an amazing little speech about how grateful he was to playing a venue as big as Reading. He spoke about how far they’ve come in a few years, and that he knew how lucky they were to have made it big because so many little bands can spend 10 years playing in pubs without getting anywhere, which he revealed is what his wife is doing. It was a great performance, definietly one to tick off the bucket list.
I took a break from the Main Stage then, and spent some time wandering around and we sat at the campsite for a while, eating out pesto pasta salad that we had actually remembered to prepare – because the food at Festival is so expensive that you have to try and avoid it as much as possible. Okay, to be honest it was little bit more my friend’s mum’s preparation that our own, but still. It tasted amazing.
Bombay Bicycle Club –
I went with some friends to see Bombay. I know Bombay Bicycle Club, but in one of those I’d-know-it-if-I-heard-it kind of ways. I debated whether or not to go with, but decided to just go for it (another ironic YOLO) and once again, so glad that I went with. They were so good! They performed at the NME (BBC Radio One Stage) and it was packed. I’m quite a claustrophobic person – lifts scare me, so the crowds in that tent with the tent roof overhead were a bit much, but I did push through for almost the whole set and I loved it. It was such an energetic set and the crowds was crazy! Love love loved it.
Arctic Monkeys –
Although, as good as Bombay was, I did have the fact that Arctic Monkeys were starting in a few minutes. I have never pushed through a crowd so quickly in my life. There was complete silence before they walked onstage. I may be overexaggerating a little bit, because thousands of people cannot be quiet, but in comparison to the roar that filled Reading when they did eventually walk on it felt like the quietest place on earth.
I may be a little biased on the subject, but seriously the Arctic Monkeys were the best part of Fest, hands down. I’ve always been a fan of their music but I didn’t think that they would be good to see live until they played at Glastonbury two years ago and they aired it on BBC in SA and they were just amazing – even just on TV. Ever since then I’ve wanted to see them live (and now I have hahaha!!). There’s just something about their stage presence that you just can’t help but to be completely drawn into the performance. They’re not the most active performers, in fact I don’t think that they really moved much at all, but somehow that really doesn’t matter. The wait for their encore seemed to take forever, but no one in the audience seemed to be interested in moving even one foot until they came back onstage. They were so good! I literally can’t think of anything else to say about them, except for repeating that they were so so so so so amazing. So I guess I’ll leave it at that, and that I cannot wait to see them again.
I was still reeling after Arctic Monkeys, so much so that the Silent Arena didn’t even appeal to me, because I couldn’t stand the idea of listening to other music just yet. I did go with everyone though – we tried the Orange Camp’s Silent Arena this time because it’s supposed to be the best one but the queue was ridiculous. It wasn’t moving and it took us half an hour to even get half way close to the actual arena. When we started to be told that the wait would be probably another half an hour we gave up because by the time that we actually got in we wouldn’t have enough time inside to enjoy it anyway. So the night ended on a little bit of an anti-climax as far as continuing the party was concerned, but I had such an amazing day overall that it didn’t really matter!