Reading Festival 2010, Day 2

September 5, 2010 by  

After a sour end to Friday night, it was up to the Indie heavyweights to show their muscle, and pretty much all day on the main stage was where they flexed it. Kicking off in what would remain as glorious, sunburning sunshine on Saturday were American dreamers The Walkmen. Their Sunkissed tunes fitted perfectly, and in retrospect it was a shame yesterdays ‘Girls’ couldn’t have been here too.

Indie favourites The Futureheads played a short, tight nit, fast paced and crowd pumping set next, getting the adrenaline going with new favourites ‘Heartbeat Song’ and ‘Struck Dumb’ and old legends ‘Decent Days and Nights’ and singalong cover ‘Hounds Of Love’ to a rapt crowd, culminating in a bark chip slinging display from a whipped up front row or ten.

Mystery Jets kept the ladies happy with their shifting 80s indie pop, although never hitting the highs of the previous bands they kept a baking crowd interested – maybe apart from one over-enthusiastic festival goer passing out midway through their biggest hit ‘Two Doors Down’ (calm down!).

It’s a shame the self indulgent Gaslight Anthem were next. Apart from a small throng of dedicated fans, most of the crowd (who would know who he is anyway) could tell they’re a few too many strides behind their clear idol and influence Bruce Springsteen, and in an unavoidable comparison were too weak.

However, Modest Mouse brought back the feel good factor and were another sunkissed group to draw the crowd to a frenzy before Maccabees took to the main stage. After a rousing set last year they didn’t disappoint this time around, and were a great position to tee up The Cribs. The wakefield super group (more literally with the addition of Jonny Marr) encapsulate the true sense of Indie, and offered a rip-roaring finale to four solid years of touring before announcing they will be taking a well earned break.

Not ready to break yet was party animal Dizzee Rascal, who is just impossible not to like. His early work impresses the grime faithful and newer crossover stuff got the dance crowd, indie crowd, and teeny-bopper crowd jumping together, something we couldn’t have imagined even just a couple of years ago, but he was on this form a potential headline act in only a couple of years to come.

Dizzees mate Pete was finally back where he belonged, with Carl in one of the most anticipated comeback gigs for The Libertines. No hissy fits, no fights, no walk outs, no no shows – ok a slight disappearing act due to a crowd crush – it was just wall to wall hit, and beginning to end singalongs, with a dash of homo-erotic hugging and kissing from Doherty and Barat that would have been a fitting end to Saturday night, if it weren’t for their big brothers – and sisters to finish up.

Arcade Fire showed exactly what a band should be, sheer professionalism and musicianship matched with their unsurpassed instrumentation and arrangements made them a truly magical band with an outrageously exciting group to finish up the day. Every instrument change, every note struck, every song ordered was executed nigh on perfectly, with even their newest songs (Rococo, Month Of May, We Used To Wait, The Suburbs… the list goes on) mixed elegantly and as fondly with the older classics (you know, Rebellion Lies, Crown Of Love etc.), and a perfect two finish of ‘Power Out’ and ‘Wake Up’ rose arms, ‘oohs’ and neck hairs, as Arcade Fire just blew everyone away.


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