Kings Of Leon were in typical uncharismatic form last night as they closed the first night of Reading Festival.
The band, who are famous for not interacting with the crowd, took things one step closer declaring, “we can see you’ve had enough of Kings Of Leon now.”
Despite their set representing the biggest singalong of the festival so far, prior to this outburst (which left all revellers questioning the band’s future) Caleb Followill sympathised about the weather saying, “it’s cold out, it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t.”
The weather didn’t seem to matter though with the singer announcing, “I just want to get drunk and party.” The set crossed all four albums with ‘Molly’s Chambers’, ‘Red Morning Light’, ‘Four Kicks’, ‘Knocked Up’ were given airings but the biggest singalongs came from their latest offering with ‘Use Somebody’ and ‘Sex Is On Fire’.
Faith No More brought proceedings to a close in the Radio 1/NME Tent with a curfew breaking set, running 30 minutes over their allotted finishing time.
Only attracting a crowd that would be dwarfed by every audience earlier in the day Mike Patton and Co were on great form covering ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ by Lionel Richie and twice playing the Eastenders theme tune.
With a lavish red backdrop and Patton in a matching red suit and shirt, the band played favourites like ‘Midlife Crisis’ and ‘Epic’ with the frontman patronisingly encouraging fans to join in during the Richie cover saying, “it’s okay…you can sing.”
‘Mid-Life Crisis proved to be the big crowd pleaser as the band noted their 12 year hiatus by picking on the crowd. “Alright fuckers, alright knobos,” teased Patton before focusing on one man at the front, “look at you. You’re so bald I don’t think you even ever saw us the first time round.”
They encored with ‘RV’ and ‘Land Of Sunshine’ before finishing up just before midnight.
The Lock-Up closing duties were left to Canadian punks Billy Talent. For the crowds outside the tent, the start of the set was marred by the sound travelling from Kings of Leon on the Main Stage, but as soon as Benjamin Kowalewicz shouted to the crowd, “come on mother fuckers!” the full attention was on the band. The best response was for ‘Line And Sinker’ which got the crowd chanting, “Fuck Kings of Leon!”
The singer reined them in by declaring, “hey, I’m sure they’re nice guys, but if they ask I’ll say I was with 5000 friends.”
The Leeds rock pop outfit, Kasier Chiefs, tried pulling out all the rock n roll stops in order to keep up with the other main stage bands. Backed by a huge lighting rig, the Kaisers turned in up to 11 in order to outdo Placebo and Fall Out Boy.
Ricky Wilson was on acrobatic form as his leaping and tumbling stretched the stage. The band rolled out the classics from ‘Oh My God’ to ‘We Are The Angry Mob’. A curious band following the bill earlier, but the band weren’t a bad starting place for warming the vocals before Kings Of Leon.
Jamie T was keen to showcase some of his new material in The NME Tent with ‘Stix And Stones’ and ‘Chaka Demis’ both getting a warm response.
“Reading, you’re fucking amazing,” announced the singer, before flying into ‘Salvador’ from his first LP bookending it with ‘Back In The Game’ and ‘Operator’.
After already running over the frontman admitted that he had to change the set. “Erm, we haven’t got much time left, I’m going to change things,” before launching into ‘Sheila’.
For the third Reading Festival on the trot, Placebo ran into difficulties during thir main stage set. With a line-up change including a new drummer who added a lot of energy to the live show, he couldn’t prevent with the issues of the bassist failing to perform.
Working through the problems and showing no signs of the fainting incident in Japan earlier this month, Brian Molko powered through early classics and omitting ‘Nancy Boy’, the band also peppered the set list with tracks from their new album.
Earlier in the evening Friendly Fires had been in a mellow mood, entertaining the ever-decreasing crowd with their own brand of guitar-dance. ‘Jump in the Pool’ kept the fans entertained early on in the set and ‘Paris’ ensured that people were still their during the tail-end of procedures but frontman Ed remained up-beat, saying, “you’ve been amazing Reading.”
Florence Welch brought her Machine to the NME tent to one of the largest crowds of the day. The fans inside were mesmerised by the Camberwell’s singer’s debut album with ‘The Drumming Song’ especially being met with rapturous applause as well as Florence’s attempts at climbing the rafters. Those who couldn’t fight their way in had room to dance whilst being entertained by the big screens erected outside. The now obligatory cover of Candi Stanton’s ‘You’ve got the Love’ proved the biggest dance along of the lot.
Anti Flag took to their punk rock to the Lock-Up Tent in political form, stopping mid-song to declare, “This song is for bail-outs. Fuck Wall Street, CEO’s and bankers.” The crowd responded by creating, what Justin Sane described as, “the biggest circle-pit I’ve seen so far,” whilst erring on the side of caution, “but if someone is down – pick them up!”
Alexisonfire treated the Lock-Up stage to their second gig of the day after taking their bow on the Main Stage in the morning. The tent was three deep outside as singer George Petit declared, “this is so much better than earlier. I can hear your voices! It’s not like the main stage where the crowd are 1000 miles away.” The sweaty tent reciprocated the energy-fuelled set screaming and clapping along, with the highlight being ‘We Are The Sound’.