August Bank Holiday weekend in the UK can only mean one thing for music fans, Reading/Leeds Festival and, with this year’s weekender being headlined by Muse, Kasabian and Eminem, along with a supporting cast featuring over a hundred acts, the weekend bash was another sellout. So, if you’re a rock, indie, punk, metal, pop fan or, infact, just enjoy a good weekend of live music with your mates, this was the place to be.
Day one saw The Xcerts kicking off proceedings on the main stage as late replacements for Royal Republic however most of the excitement surrounded who the secret act was on the NME stage. It didn’t take long before word got out that the secret act was none other than Queens Of The Stone Age who were in town ahead of the release of their new album Villains. Now while there was an excitement about their set, it was clear that word hadn’t fully got out as the tent, while suitably busy, wasn’t as rammed as expected, although, those in attendance, certainly got a festival treat very early on in the weekend.
Barely a hundred yards away, things were warming up in the Lock Up stage with the likes of Baby In Vain and Raveneye piling in some nice early afternoon noises for fans of things a little edgier. Back on the main stage though and Against The Current brought a bit of glamour to proceedings while Brighton heavyeights Architects incited mayhem in the pit with security working overtime as wave after wave of crowdsurfer flew over the barrier to a soundtrack of crushing metal.
Elsewhere Gnarwolves and Culture Abuse were entertaining bands back on the Lock Up Stage and The Sherlocks providing an indie soundtrack in the NME tent but back at the main stage one of the success stories of the year, Stockport band, Blossoms were treating their evergrowing fanbase to another slice of indie rock ahead of the return of the legend himself Liam Gallagher.
By now it was obvious who the main draw for the day was and, as the Oasis mainman strode out, familiar sneer on his face and launched into “Rock n’ Roll Star”, the packed main arena went absolutely batshit. With all attention glued to the mainstage 90’s indie rock favourites Ash played to a surprisingly busy tent while the second yet not-so-secret act of the weekend The Prettyboys (Don Broco) sent the Lock Up stage into a frenzy as did day one headliners Neck Deep who brought a bit of pop-punk brightness to light up the balmy Friday night.
Wandering back to the main stage as Liam Gallagher ended his set, the mass exodus of fans surely indicated who the main draw of the day was however headliners Muse certainly treated the still busy main arena to a slick, polished performance. With the band making use of the walkway to get up close and personal with fans, the band delivered a suitably arena-sized performance and, with fireworks lighting up the sky following their retina-burning light show, day one of this three-dayer certainly ended in style.