Reading Festival 2017: Saturday (Review)

This year I decided to stay in White Camp – it’s quieter, cleaner, friendlier etc…but, it’s also a half an hour walk to the arena. Half an hour probably seems like nothing for those that have been to Glastonbury, but staying in White Camp at Reading also means that the nearest decent supermarket is an hour walk away….minimum! It had to be done though, and three and a half hours later I finally made it to the arena in time for the first band of the day. Here is my review of Saturday at Reading Festival 2017:

Once inside the arena after my hike to the supermarket, I started my day the same way I started Friday – at the Main Stage. It was one of the earliest slots of the day (12:50), but I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to watch one of my favourite bands at the moment – Moose Blood. A lot can be said for an early slot on the Main Stage though – the band still get a longer set than most of the afternoon slots on the smaller stages, and it’s guaranteed to be quiet enough that you get a decent position. As for Moose Blood’s set, it was a lot of fun and definitely worth going to. The set consisted mostly of songs from their last album, Blush, including my favourite song of theirs, Glow, and they played with plenty of energy and confidence. The vocals were too quiet (a recurring theme across the weekend for the most part) and there wasn’t much interaction with the crowd, though I think this was more down to the fact that they were overwhelmed about playing the Main Stage at Reading – the lead singer was almost a bit teary when thanking the crowd at the end, but otherwise they sounded great.

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Californian trio LANY played the Dance Stage

After Moose Blood I made my way to somewhere I’d never been to before and, to be honest, never thought I’d end up going to…the Dance Stage. However, I was introduced to this next band whilst in America earlier this year and I was instantly hooked. As mentioned in my ‘bands to watch’ at Reading and Leeds article, LANY have gained a lot of traction since the release of their self-titled debut album in June, and as expected they drew a large crowd for their mid-afternoon set. To put it simply, they were incredible. Their setlist was brilliant (highlights being The Breakup and Good Girls) and Paul Klein’s vocals were flawless; so good in fact that I actually questioned whether he was miming at one point…which I now regret. The guitar tone was out of this world and their image spot on (at first I was a bit sceptical of Paul’s ‘James Franco in Pineapple Express’ look, but it actually suits the accompanying chilled music). LANY’s set was hands down the best set of the festival so far…until later that evening.

Before watching Eminem headline the Main Stage on the Saturday, I’d heard from various people that his previous headline set at Reading in 2013 was NOT GOOD! Apparently he was miming at times, but I still found it very hard to believe the set was not good….so I put it down to two things 1.) they weren’t really fans of Eminem…they only knew the hits, and maybe a couple of other songs; and 2.) they were in a bad position from the stage. Whether either of those reasons were true or not, I can tell you now that if they had been at his headline set at Reading Festival 2017, they would have had COMPLETELY different opinions than before.

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Eminem headlined the Main Stage for the second time in four years

He absolutely smashed it this year. He had a live band playing with him who were absolutely amazing, particularly the drummer; the setlist was phenomenal (33 songs including Soldier, Business and The Way I Am); his stage banter wasn’t too cringy; and overall he put on a crazy performance…and it certainly did not sound like he was miming from where I was standing. I left the arena on such a high and it was one of those rare moments where I’d finally seen one of my idols (though not so much now) in the flesh and on stage. As with his 2013 set, it wasn’t televised, so I feel very lucky to have been there! A brilliant way to finish off Saturday.

My review of Sunday at Reading Festival 2017 will be up shortly!

 

 


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