The second day of Reading started like no other, with special guests Green Day putting on a thrilling show on the NME/Radio 1 stage. It was the worst kept secret in festival history, but the trio were in fabulous form in front of an energetic audience. Many had to make do with watching the big screens at the side of the Main Stage, but that didn’t stop fans starting a mosh pit anyway.
While there were many positives about putting Green Day on so early, one of the negatives was that the artists who had the dubious honour of following the American punk rockers had a lot to live up to. Los Campesinos! was one such act – opening up the Main Stage – but they did well to keep everyone on a high after Green Day had concluded their not-so-impromptu set.
They were followed by Blood Red Shoes, who put on a raucous show considering it was just the two of them on stage. The Brighton duo, made up of Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter, were keen to point out that they were fulfilling a dream playing the Main Stage and they certainly played as if that was the case. Fan favourites It’s Getting Boring By The Sea, Victory For The Magpie and Say Something, Say Anything were well-received, as were tracks from the band’s latest album, In Time To Voices.
Mystery Jets provided a change of pace after the opening two acts on the Main Stage, but they still had room for the effervescent Two Doors Down in their wonderfully enjoyable set. Saturday was undoubtedly a day for variety, as proved by the arrival of Odd Future on stage. The rap troupe bounced around the stage, throwing themselves head-first into the crowd.The security must have been glad to see the back of them when Tyler, The Creator and Co were eventually kicked off stage after overrunning their slot, but as always OFWGKTA put on a show that had everyone entertained from start to finish. Rella, Wolf Gang and Yonkers all had an airing, while the gang were joined by hardcore punks Trash Talk For Radicals.
After the mayhem of Odd Future came the calm, soothing sounds of The Shins, with James Mercer in excellent form. The American five-piece played the perfect set to follow Odd Future as they ran through tracks from their latest album, Port Of Morrow, including the beautiful Simple Song. It was then time for Reading regulars, Enter Shikari, who were playing their fourth straight Reading Festival.
As the festival entered the second evening of music, The Vaccines walked on stage to play a show that leaned heavily on their upcoming second album, Come Of Age. Opening with No Hope, the foursome ripped through their set, which was comprised of the short, sharp numbers that they made their name with. The new material certainly sounds promising, but it was old favourites If You Wana, Wrecking Bar and Norgaard that really got the crowd going.
Unfortunately, as Florence and the Machine prepared to take the stage after The Vaccines, the heavens opened properly for the first time. It failed to deter Florence Welsh, though, as she danced across the rain-drenched stage while belting out her massive hits. There was no You Got The Love, but Shake It Out and What The Water Gave Me from Ceremonials are now big songs in their own right. While Dog Days Are Over and Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) had the crowd in raptures as they attempted to forget about the miserable weather.
With day two coming to an end, the weather cleared up just in time for the entrance of Saturday night’s headliners. Kasabian have worked hard to get where they are with their last two albums transforming them from lad rockers to Main Stage headliners – and deservedly so. As a result, the set revolved heavily around Velociraptor! and West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, including Days Are Forgotten, Underdog and Re-Wired. However, the huge sing-a-longs were reserved for classics such as Shoot The Runner, Club Foot and Empire.
It was a brilliant performance from the Leicester quintet and it only got better when Tom Meighan sang Fatboy Slim‘s Praise You, before segueing into LSF as the boys closed the main part of their set. The encore continued to show the band at their best, with Switchblade Smiles, Vlad The Impaler and Fire ending easily the best set of the first two days. It may have taken Kasabian some time to become certified headliners, but they definitely don’t look likely to relinquish that status anytime soon.