Live Music + Gig Reviews

Festival Review: Reading 2012, Day 3

26 August 2012

Reading Festival 2012: Foo Fighters

The final day of Reading Festival 2012 brought a host of new and exiting bands, who were out to show why they deserved their place on the line-up. Kicking off the day on the NME/Radio 1 Stage was the Icelandic band, Of Monsters And Men. The six-piece started off the day perfectly with their Mumford And Sons-esque rousing tunes, including the beautifully addictive Little Talks.

Continuing the slew of new bands was Minneapolis foursome, Howler, whose debut album America Give Up was released to critical acclaim at the beginning of the year. The crowd was not huge for the band, but they put on a ferocious performance, with frontman Jordan Gatesmith both engaging and humorous with his on-stage chat. His vocals were impressive too, as the band ripped through Beach Sluts, This One’s Different and Told You Once.

The strong line-up on the NME/Radio 1 stage continued with the trio of Django Django, Tribes and The Joy Formidable. Django Django pulled an impressive crowd as they aired songs from their excellent self-titled debut album, including the infectious Default and Skies Over Cairo. Most of the crowd remained to watch Tribes, the Camden four-piece who started the year off with their own impressive debut album, entitled Baby. And the boys were on fine form as they performed We Were Children, Sappho and Corner Of An English Field to big sing-a-longs.

The Joy Formidable continued the guitar-driven line-up and the Welsh trio were clearly happy to be back performing after recently spending time in the studio to record the follow-up to their debut album The Big Roar. Lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan was in an energetic mood as the trio kicked off with The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade, before launching into Cradle. Bryan slowed the pace of the blistering set with new song Silent Treatment, a gorgeous acoustic number that will be part of the band’s second effort.

However, the set finished as it began, with noise. It’s certainly not hard to see why The Joy Formidable’s closing song Whirring is a favourite with Dave Grohl. The thrilling guitar sounds were incredibly impressive live and by the time the final chord was struck the crowd were already giving the band one of the biggest cheers of the weekend. After the newbies had finished proving their worth on the NME/Radio 1 Stage, it was time to visit the Main Stage for the final time to see three acts who have been there and done it many times before.

Kaiser Chiefs started off the evening’s entertainment with their hits-filled set getting the crowd ready and pumped up for the festival’s finale. Kaiser Chiefs are by no means a great band, but they have a lot of good singles that go down a storm with the Reading crowd. Songs such as I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less and Oh My God started off passionate sing-a-longs, while a repeat of their London 2012 closing ceremony cover of The Who‘s Pinball Wizard also went down well.

While The Black Keys have also been around for a long time, they have only just recently been recognised as one of the best live bands around. Their recent album El Camino saw them bring in a mass of new fans, especially after following the critically-acclaimed Brothers. Coming on stage before Sunday’s headliners was the result of their endeavor and they made sure it was a performance not to forget. The sound from the Main Stage was not at its best, but the duo made up for it with a set that included all their biggest tracks – including Lonely boy, Tighten Up, Gold On The Ceiling and I Got Mine.

With the end of Reading 2012 fast approaching, the Foo Fighters made their entrance in front of a jam-packed crowd. Coming two decades after Nirvana performed their last live gig at the festival, the evening took on heightened significance. But if anyone was up to the task it is living legend Dave Grohl. There was no time to hang around either, as the band kicked off with White Limo and All My Life with mosh pits materialising everywhere you looked.

The 26-song set was full of the band’s biggest numbers, including The Pretender, My Hero, Learn To Fly and Cold Day In The Sun. It was not short of surprises, either, as early Foos songs Hey Johnny Park, Alone + Easy Target, For All The Cows and Exhausted all made an appearance. Grohl was in a reflective mood as he dedicated Wasting Light’s These Days to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, before also dedicating Walk and Monkey Wrench to his two daughters.

There is always a feel-good feeling about watching the Foo Fighters. They are a band who embrace their biggest songs and they clearly enjoy performing live in front of fans who adore them. Closing with Everlong as fireworks went off around the stage, it was the perfect way to end the festival. And as the festival-goers began making their way back to the tent to pack up and head home, there was no doubt that Reading Festival 2012 had saved the best till last.

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