With a greater variation of music so readily available for people to enjoy, it’s almost no surprise that we end up with the likes of Migos and Korn performing on the same stage on the same day at Reading Festival.
Reading Festival has always been famous for its enormous rock-based line ups, however, over the past few years there has been an increase in different genres on the bill. This change reflects a shift in listening habits that has happened over the last decade. With so many different ways to consume music, people no longer feel the need to stick to one genre.
With barely two hours between their sets, it was fascinating to see the differences between them both. As Migos’ crew set up their stage, an influx of young teenage boys holding Smirnoff Ices and wearing pulled up white socks descended on the Main Stage. With hoards of bucket hats seemingly left over from Kasabian the night before, neon sunglasses and glitter on every body part imaginable, this crowd were ready for a party at four o’clock in the afternoon.
DJ Durel entertained the crowd by playing various bangers on his laptop for a full 20 minutes before Migos even set foot on stage and when they did it transpired that one-third of the group, Quavo (arguably the most famous member), wasn’t even there. After an entrance full of smoke machines, fireworks and a backdrop video of sports cars and nights out, excitement in the audience seemed to wane pretty quickly. Maybe it was the lack of Quavo or that the stage was just too big for a group who hadn’t released a whole lot of big singles but people began leaving en mass half way through, leaving the atmosphere about as lit as a candle in the rain.
Fast forward a couple of hours to 6.30pm, and it was Korn’s turn to take to the Main Stage. Using the same smoke machines and swearing equally as much is where the similarities between the two acts ended.
Although the crowd still jumped and threw their hands in the air, the atmosphere was much more intense and ultimately more passionate than before. As I looked around, every person I could see knew every single word to every song they performed. From the nursery rhyme filled ‘Shoots and Ladders’ (watching people mosh to Ring-a-Roses was certainly an experience) to the classic ‘Freak On A Leash,’ the band had the crowd in the palm of their hand the entire time, indeed proving that they deserved to be on a stage that big. In fact, the five of them made such an incredible amount of noise with their drums, guitars and the occasional bagpipes (obviously) that they could have probably filled a stage twice as big with very little problem.
As someone who is not a huge fan of either hip-hop or nu-metal, I can say without any bias whatsoever that Korn definitely performed the most impressive set out of the two artists. It’s brilliant that there is now such a variety of genres at Reading Festival, but on such a huge stage such as this, it seems as though guitars are hard to beat.