Reading Festival 2013: Green Day bring first day to vibrant close with headline set
This year may be the first to see a dance stage across all three days
Friday 23 August 2013
Green Day brought the first day of the Reading Festival to a vibrant close that cemented the view both veterans were trading on tried and tested values.
Highlights from their trio of recent albums, notably the anthemic ’99 Revolutions’, contrasted well with crowd-pleasing rabble-rousers, among them ‘Know Your Enemy’.
At the heart of the set was a run-through their breakthrough album Dookie, 20 years young next year. The punk-pop threesome sped through it so quickly that less memorable material was soon forgotten as they hurried to the evergreen ‘Basket Case’ and the romantic ‘She’.
Despite some progression over two decades, Green Day have stayed true to their roots, making a two hour set a challenge to maintain interest. Fresh from treatment for substance abuse, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong showed he maintained close empathy with his fellow “freaks” as he called the band’s army of fans.
Likewise, Reading knows its audience.
This year may be the first to see a dance stage across all three days, yet the Berkshire weekender remains a rite of passage for young music fans and groups that prefer guitars, the crunchier and louder the better. Main-stage notables System Of A Down and Deftones would have been familiar in the early noughties.
Yet 2013 has been especially favourable to British proponents and Sheffield metal outfit Bring Me The Horizon rose to their outdoor billing (most other stages are in big-tops), moulding their screamcore and thrash tropes into festival-friendly shapes.
A rare diversion was the spirited if gratingly positive Frank Turner. Apparently suffering from a bad back, he was introduced by his mum, who insisted “you all be very nice to him”. No fear, Ma, the days of flying piss bottles felt a long time ago.
Elsewhere came career-propelling performances from Californian all-girl glam duo Deap Vally and Montreal’s Half Moon Run, mixing sweet Fleet Foxes-style harmonies with involved percussion. And expect to hear more from US four-piece Parquet Courts, their more surfy or Pixies-inspired post-punk showing snotty aggression amid their obvious Brooklyn cool.
Peace’s shoegazing revival paled in comparison. Their combination of shimmering effects and handsome frontman were popular around the Thames valley 20 years ago, but despite updating the sound with the occasional dance-friendly beat, Harry Koisser’s insouciant charisma could not disguise the Birmingham group’s shortage of stickable tunes. Their whole-hearted cover of Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ with a verse from Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ included was a definite highlight.
Despite a line-up strong in depth that leaves zero space for literary readings or meditation, Reading remains known for its surprise appearances. Pop darlings Bastille previewed their early evening slot on the Radio 1/NME stage by busking on the BBC Introducing set-up normally reserved for mainly unsigned acts. In an outdoor space uncomfortably close to the dance tent, the vertically coiffed Dan Smith and his largely acoustic crew struggled to impose themselves, even with his usual strident tone. Yet the new area remained a mere staging post, outclassed later on the second stage by Major Lazer’s infectious dancehall/techno mix with Diplo zorbing across the melee and a committed performance from hip hop upstart A$AP Rocky.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food