The Final day arrived and here is how things went down…
16th August September – Day 3
Opening the final day were the Gym Class Heroes and their Punk credible hip-hop poppiness. As hip-hop goes, this is rather good! Not trying to be gangsters or anything remotely hardman-esque gives them a greater appeal here and with great mainstream hits such as Clothes Off, their chilled set was pretty good. Made all the better by their Rap/Ska re-working of the beach boys classic Good Vibrations. Top Track: Good Vibrations
Less recognizable emo-popsters Hellogoodbye were easily forgettable. Some cool hooks but ultimately just a bit pansyish, easy listening while still recovering from the night before i found.
Not shifting far from the Punk ethic of the main stage today, Billy Talent employed most of pop-punks successful cornerstones. Big Riffs, Energy, Catchy Lyrics and a unique vocalist. All 4 factors were melded successfully here as they raced through a high octane set of bouncable tunes. A break from the mellow and a wake up call for myself went down great, unlike the guitarists outrageously vertical Elvis quiff which wouldn’t budge in a hurricane. Top Track: Red Flag
The Sunshine Underground were ringing out to the lunchtime crowd over at the NME stage and doing a pretty good job too. Their dance ethos is clearly evident and here in the live arena they come to life. A harsher and rough around the edge sound was a good break from their albums superbly sheened album production. Crowd was timid though, a bit full from lunch I expect! Top Track: Commercial Breakdown
Cancer Bats filled a gap of nothingness. To be honest, I heard more interesting and original sounds in the festival toilet facilities.
Funeral For a Friend kicked off their set in usual frenetic style blasting out their superb new single Into Oblivion. They continued the dual guitar onslaught as they raced through the highlights from their first 2 albums. This welsh five piece have always been good live, today was no exception. Loud, a fist full of angst and as melodic as you like! Escape Artists Never Die Provided their final swan song which so superbly tip toes the line between anger and beauty. The absence of a blistering solo is the only drawback, but then that wouldn’t be the FFAF way would it. Top Track: Escape Artists Never Die
Fall Out Boy sit proudly atop of the emo tree casting shadows on all peers, and for good reason too! This set was a fun, highly enjoyable and packed with recognizable radio friendly rhythms. I do have to say though the lead singer has the charisma of a small gerbil, it’s bassist Pete Wentz who adds the crowd pleasing banter and has enough front man qualities to make the band work. Most cheesy covers of the weekend award goes to these guys too, they played 2 classic 80’s hits. Jackson’s Beat It (let me stress that they missed out the Eddie Van Halen Solo, shoddy work!) and Huey Lewis & The News’ The Power Of Love, Classic! more amusing than this was the look of bemusement on the faces of the predominantly teenage crowd who were looking on with blank stares, while the older of us there were screaming “Thats The Power Of Love…” hehe. Not one bottle was thrown at them either, are they gaining more respect in rock circles? Time will tell, but for today they were rather good. Top Track: The Power Of Love
Time for some more Welsh metal, this time from Lost Prophets. To say this was an amazing set would be a huge understatement! These guys had everyone singing, screaming, shouting, moshing, fighting, bouncing and even a comedic touch which buoyed the spirits of all! Their hard edged pop rock sounds fantastic as they whistle through huge chorus after the next. Of course their classic tracks were the big draw and with Last Train Home, Last Summer, Burn Burn to choose from they didn’t disappoint the enthused crowd. Somehow what made this little shindig so great was the between song banter, as the front man ordered
“The biggest F*&king Circle pits ever and I wanna see every one of ewe bouncing from the front to the back”.
All of which he duly got even though the hiccups of the circle pit being rather “oblong”. I don’t think I’ve seen quite so many people jumping at one point in my life, was incredible to be a part of! They finally brought the show to a hectic climax with their early metal classic Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja yet again greeted with absolutely manic crowd behavior. Everything about this performance was spot on and has few peers this weekend, just plainly awesome!! Top Track: Last Train Home
CSS quickly turned the Sunday rockfest on its head as the Art Dance/Rockers were groovin’ over in the NME Tent. The element of having fun and letting loose is what this band really are about for me. The multi coloured stage balloons, fantastic light show and the rompous dance rhythms project the air of a band doing what they love. Their dancey sounds seemed to prove a hit with the fairly sizable crowd which had gathered and with hits such as Alala and Lets Make Love (And Listen To Death From Above), a full scale rave was now in full flow. Endless funky beats and bleeping electro samples were good, but it was the energy of the band and crowd which really light up this show. Who’d have though this was the final night? Top Track: Let’s Make Love (And Listen To Death From Above)
Following straight after on their own electro train was LCD Soundsystem band of uber producer James Murphy. It was like the rave never stopped, even the DJ’s selections between this and the CSS set was greeted with mass singalongs and bopping likes it’s 1984. The crowd energy which started high was only a mere fraction of the heights it reached during this set, this unrelentless electronic rave-ups were driven by some manical drumming and heaving bass guitars, leaving no time for breath! With reworked uptempo versions of tracks such as Daftpunk Is Playing At My House and North American Scum added a air of urgency and ferocity to their demeanour. With the crowd this fired up, you couldn’t help but just let it all out and go slightly crazy, which is what we all duly did. After what seemed like a 20 minute extended version of All of My Friends LCD faded into memory as a fantastic dance show which had the place rockin’ Top Track: North American Scum
Ok, so decisions were abound as the final band of the weekends were kicking off. Started off thinking i was seeing Klaxons, but the type of people attracted into the tent at this point were to be honest, a bunch of immature idiotic twats! So I left for the comfort of the Carling tent and The Hold Steady.
Now I’ve seen The Hold Steady twice already this year, here and here. Both were fantastic by the way, but somehow tonight they just didn’t work. The tent was pretty much empty and only the handful of faithful fans were singing along down the front. Yet again i can chalk another name onto the list of shows scuppered by the Carling Stage sound system. Nevertheless when you could actually hear lead singer Craig Finn it was superb! Early set highlights were Stuck Between Stations, Chips Ahoy, Hot Soft Light and Massive Nights, each as big a party starter than the next. But the sound got too annoying to bear and so i left towards the end of the set, only to return after realizing Klaxons were actually pretty pants too. So catching the finale, The Hold Steady closed the action on the Carling Stage for 2007, lets hope they get the damned sound system sorted for 2008. Top Track: Massive Nights
Overrunning slightly was Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins. Once you get over the incredibly nasal tones or he just stops singing it actually sounded pretty good. Showing off his quite spectacular guitar flair with extended solos and riffage Corgan won me over for these last 30 mins of Reading 07. Not knowing any tracks didn’t help, but i can see why they are headlining, plus their light show wasn’t half impressive either. After finally being dragged off 20 mins after curfew the Smashing Pumpkins provided the Backdrop to the end as we all tramped off back to our tents wishing it was Friday again and we didn’t have to go back to work soon!
A sad farewell to Reading Festival 2007 was played over the final bonfire of the weekend as me and the Amigo’s mulled over the weekend talking points. They were vaguely as follows:
Goodbye Reading Till Next Year!!
Top Bands: Kings Of Leon, Lost Prophets, Hot Hot Heat, CSS, Ash
Festival Anthems: Last Summer – Lost Prophets, Fa-Fa-Fa – Datarock, Not A Crime – Gogol Bordello, Lets Make Love (And Listen To Death from Above) – CSS, Girl From Mars – Ash