Reading Festival Highlights – Saturday

Green Day


Green Day were the surprise guests this year. They are a well practised live act and put on a good show. Mostly they were there to have fun, this led to Billy Joe getting the audience to chant back to him a little more than I would have liked, but there was a great atmosphere.

Seeing them live does highlight how different their new material is and I found it less engaging. But when they open with Welcome to Paradise and play some old classics as well as have fun with their new material, I can’t complain. Besides, they we’re first on the bill, its not like they clashed with anyone.


I only caught 30 seconds of Vengeance and the Panther Queen whilst moving round the site, but my curiosity was piqued enough to look up who they were after the fact. I’m not quite sure to make of their eclectic stoner-tech-metal come shout-along style, but I have had My Ebola stuck in my head since discovering it.

Hildemay are a hardcore band from Kent that I have a feeling that I may have seen before. They are just about to release their debut album and have made enough of an impression that they may stick in my brain.

Enter Shikari


I’ve seen Enter Shikari a couple of times before at Reading and not a time since has been as fun as the first. I really like the way they push genre boundaries and Common Dreads as an album. However, they seem to have found a sound leading to them becoming a bit samey and jumping on the dubstep bandwagon.

I had trouble getting into their set with the new material they played. Maybe I’m just less familiar with it. I did enjoy them finishing up with Juggernaut, heavily reworked, and Zzzonked, but overall I didn’t really connect with them this time.

Florence + The Machine


Its good to see that Florence still has her personality. I’m not really a fan of the new material and I only went along out of curiosity as to what her show would be like. She has long made it to pop star status and performed well, but I think its a shame her career has gone that route.

There was some beautiful, heartfelt acoustic live performances that she did prior to releasing Lungs, but this stripped down nature has been lost to the machine. Whilst musical directions change it was all about the show and the crowd loved it, its just not my thing any more.

At The Drive-in


This is it. At the Drive-in was the deciding factor on me getting a ticket this year. And they did not disappoint. Cedric is as quirky and energetic as ever, the band was tight and the crowd loved it.

For a cult band defunct for about a decade we knew a lot of the words. They played a good mix of their newer and older material. I really enjoyed their set. My only disappointment was that although Cedric’s spirit of old remained Omar, the guitarist, played tunefully completely losing the discordant chaos that be brought in a previous lifetime.

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