I’ll start this post with a warning: don’t ever go to a festival for just one day. You might think it’ll be ok but it just ends up being slightly bittersweet as you’ll have one of the greatest days ever and end up having to go home rather than staying there to have three of the best days ever. If it wasn’t clear already, I pretty much hate myself for deciding that going to Reading for 1 day would be fine. Despite all this questioning of my sanity, I still had an absolutely incredible day (as is clear by the fact I didn’t really want to leave) and have some pictures/words to share about it (about a month later as its taken me about this long to come to terms with it).
Thanks to the new update on my phone I can look back at the steps I did that day – apparently I walked 17 miles and did almost 40,000 steps – though I’m not sure if this is actually true or if my phone got jumping/dancing confused with walking! Even if that is the case, I’m pretty sure a majority of those steps/miles were clocked up going a very long way round from Reading station to get to the festival site and then taking about every wrong turn it was possible to make before finally getting in. When I saw the queue to get into the arena my heart sunk – I’ve never seen such a massive queue before – but after we casually pushed in and it started moving we got in super quickly and had plenty of time before seeing our first act of the day: Neck Deep.
After seeing them support All Time Low at Wembley in March I was quite happy to watch them again, their music is great live and I really like their new album. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t play very many songs from Life’s Not Out To Get You as it’s the first album of theirs that I’ve really loved, but I still enjoyed their performance.
It was at this point I had serious regrets about my choice of clothing; it was really warm and I had decided black dungarees and a long sleeve t-shirt was appropriate, and this was definitely not the case! I’d also given suncream a miss and could feel the skin burning on my nose which was not much fun, so I was glad to escape the heat in the Radio 1/NME stage to watch Echosmith. Hadn’t really heard of them before (apart from Cool Kids) but they were a great festival band that I’ve just reminded myself I need to listen to!
Slightly cooled down, we headed back to the Main Stage for the bit of the day I was most looking forward to: Panic! At The Disco followed by All Time Low, two bands I’ve loved for years now. I couldn’t wait to finally see Panic! At The Disco (or should I say Brendon Urie and his band) and was so excited to watch All Time Low again after seeing them earlier in the year.
First on was Panic!, and my high hopes were certainly met. Brendon looked a solid 11/10 in his sparkly jacket and though I wish they’d sung more songs from Pretty Odd, I really liked all the new material. Hallelujah was a definite highlight, as was the old classic I Write Sins Not Tragedies, but the best part of the set was undoubtedly their cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. It wouldn’t be a festival without at least one act covering Queen and Panic! took on that role brilliantly. The only thing that would have improved the experience would have been the removal of the absolutely poor excuse for a human behind me, who pushed her way into an already too packed crowd and then proceeded to complain about ‘all the twelve year olds’ and that she ‘hated their new music’. Go watch someone else then you fool!
Following that was All Time Low, a band that can always be trusted to put on a brilliant show and include enough butt jokes to satisfy any teenage boy for a whole year. I’ve never had so much fun watching a band as I did watching All Time Low at Reading, the crowd was insane and I ended up in a mosh pit in which there were at least 5 people who had no idea who ATL were so were relying on others to tell them when to go for it. I also met a girl who did the worm in the middle of the muddy pit two days after having her nipple pierced (which was a decision I think she regretted). Highlights include Weightless, Something’s Gotta Give and Dear Maria, Count Me In, during which I found myself on my friends shoulders and took this picture which I think sums up how I felt pretty well:
Following that brilliant experience I was entirely ruined so left the crowd to drink a lot of water and build up some energy again. I sat outside the Radio 1/NME stage and watched Peace who sounded great, and I actually really regret not watching them properly. I then had some seriously amazing Gourmet Burger Kitchen chips before sitting beside main stage and watching a bit of alt-J, who were incredibly boring.
It was then time for Mumford and Sons, a band I love and have seen twice now (totally brilliant on both occasions). Unfortunately I just don’t love their latest album that much. It really doesn’t work so well live and I found myself just feeling a little bit unengaged during a lot of the tracks from Wilder Mind. That being said, I still really liked their set and all the old Mumford classics were sounding as good as ever – Little Lion Man and Dust Bowl Dance definitely the highlights for me. And to give the new album its dues, I did love Ditmas (which almost ended the set rather abruptly as Marcus Mumford decided to crowd surf and was trampled on), and The Wolf was probably one of my favourite moments of the day and a great closer to Friday at the festival.
As is clear from all this, I had an absolutely incredible day and will be buying my ticket for the 2016 festival as soon as the funds are available. Though to be fair, I probably would have had the money if I hadn’t spent it all on other concerts to curb my post-Reading blues… The Wombats, Bear’s Den, All Time Low and Muse had better get ready for me.