Saturday, 27 August 2011

Reading Festival.

That had definitely been one of the best days of my life; even through the pouring rain that created paddling-pools of mud, i can say that it was fantastic.
Yesterday i went to Reading festival with my sibling, for the first time. I went primarily to see Thirty Seconds to Mars, but i have to say that every other band that i saw, even the one whose name i dont remember, made that day awesome.
When we finally got through the gate a little after eleven and after a long trek through campsites, i basically legged it to the main stage (a bit like everybody else) even though i knew nothing was going to start for an hour. I saw a band called something like hardships wreaked?? on the way and they seemed pretty good too. So yeah, by the time me and my sister got there, you can imagine that there was already a fair amount of people there striving to get to the barrier so there was no hope there. We just stood there playing Rock Paper Scissors until the architects came on.
This first band was pretty good, i hadn't really heard much from them before but it is safe to say that i am impressed, i can see why they were chosen to open on the main stage. Basically, even by that time the day had gotten pretty weird, there were people dressed up as dinosaurs, loads of people in Onesies (especially tiger ones), al sorts basically and watching them Mosh was the funniest thing. The architects managed to encourage a fair few circle pits, every couple of minutes one would erupt around us, the weird thing was that there was this specific guy, in a blue T-shirt, that was executing them. He seemed intent on starting a fight, he was constantly trying to swing at people. So yeah, basically the Architects were pretty cool, though i lost the Game.
Then came on the blackout. While the Architects just had one of those huge banners behind them of what seemed to be an album cover, the blackout went just one tiny stage further with one of them (stating F**K the Blackout) and personalised speakers on stage adorned with their cool, signiture... black and white thing....
So yeah, they were cool. The singers from the blackout talked to the audience more and interacted with them, the casual banter between the two was very entertaining. The singer with the blond tips in his hair rain to the edge of the barrier (a security guy holding him carefully) and got a load of mud swiped on his face. He then proceeded to go back and asked everyone in the audience to kneel on the floor, which by this time was pretty slushy. We did this skeptically at first, then gave in to aching muscles of course. We realised why he asked this after the shouted at everyone in the audience to start throwing mud at each other. Entertaining to say the least! The rest of the set was cool, as you'd expect from the blackout , and created many a mosh pits.
The next band was New Found Glory, my sister and I decided we were hungry at this point and escaped and looked around, at this point my brothers had gone out in search of painkillers and were on a 40 minute journey to get back in. We wandered round some cool shops for a while, saw a bit of hypnotism at the alternative stage and a cool band at another one. I bought a tiny stone that had a face for £2 andwe eventually found my Brothers. They were being pathetic, and set up chairs while we went to the barrier of the Moshing area to watch the rest of NFG. All i can really say about them is that they were good, i can't remember much else.
We stayed where we were for BMTH, which turned out to be a mistake. People were wrestling and dancing in the mud behind us but the band caught our full attention, it was probably the one that demanded the most audience participation. Oli, the singer, commanded sooo many mosh pits, and wasn't happy if they weren't big enough, he wanted them from wall to wall and ordered a wall of death. He then proceeded to ask the audience for someone who knew the words to the next song, that young man was called to the stage and gven a microphone and proceeded to sing as oli's echo. He was surprisingly good at screamo music i can tell you that, i was very impressed. Oli also invited anyone who wanted a High Five from him to make their way over the barrier and collect it. Soo many people did, and i can tell you i bet they weren't the least bit sorry when they were then escorted off. It was funny when the security guards started to form a wall in front of the stage to prevent people following him when he went back up. The audience was riled up at this point and didn't really need Oli's continuous support for circle pits. Then what happened, was that the bassist and one of the guitarists started stage diving while Oli was screaming at the audience to carry them to the big tower (quite far away). And the bassist was actually carried there, while Oli looked on in glee, getting his clothes very ripped in the process. At this point i saw the other guy make it back to the stage, then proceed to climb the scaffolding and start playing right next to the screens. Looking back, i then saw the bassist up the tower and playing there with the lucky spectators. This band was, by far, the most exciting.
Next was Rise Against. I really like Rise Against, they have some fantastic songs that are very easy to listen to and very catchy. However contrasting the to BMTH, they didn't do much to entice the crowd; then again it seemed that they didn't need to. The circle pits were definitely happening on their own and it seemed there was a lot of general respect for this band.
After them were the Deftones, now i can't say much about there performance because i wasn't there for much of it. Me and my sister went to the Alternate tent instead and listened to Henry Rollins stand up act, which was actually quite funny. You might be able to tell but i am not a huge fan of the deftones. We managed to get back about halfway through the next bands slot, which was The Offspring, and weaseled our way deep into the crowd, about a meter away from the front barrier in the middle. Eagerly awaiting for the moment to come when Thirty seconds to mars were to come on to the stage.
About 40 minutes later the moment arrived and it was awesome. They are definitely my favourite band, and obviously loads of other people because we definitely got very crushed. When Jared came up to greet the crowd i was SOO close and almost touched him but got very crushed instead. At least i found out that when you fall over, people are very gracious about picking you back up again. I cant really go into detail about what happened there, i was having too much fun. When we first saw Jared i swear he was wearing a poncho with what looked like chain mail underneath, then he was wearing a leather jacket after disappearing for a while then a shirt (which he lost to the audience). What was fun though was that, after saying that they may not be back in a while, he saw a guy in a tiger suit and invited him onto the stage, very confused. The guy then gave him the suit, which he wore for a song after inviting loads of other strangely dressed people onto the stage. The tiger guy got his suit back for the live photo and got to stand on the stage. I am sure this would have made his day. Throughout their performance there were blow-up animals floating through the crown and toilet paper like confetti shot into the audience. With the triad in the background and fantastic music videos and graphics playing on the screens behind them it was definitely a good show. Worth spending most of the show unable to breathe.
The headliners had a lot going for them, devoted fans and many circle pits happening spontaneously. Opening with Na na na and mixing in old and new songs was on their favour and served to get the audience well riled up. Contrasting to other bands they didn't interact with the audience much but for all intents and purposes, they didn't actually need to. The hardcore killjoy fans lapped it up and spat it back as praise. When they left though they got many shouts for an encore and, to my surprise, came back on with Brian May and played 'We Will Rock You' and finished with 'The Black Parade'. My chemical romance were awesome, they definitely got many mosh pits but people didn't seem to have the same obsession as with 30stm, there was less crushing. But u have to say that the fireworks, confetti and Brian May were a very good touch. For me though, the musical stylings of thirty seconds to mars were the highlight of my day. Definitely.

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