Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Features

Our Top 12 Standout Performances At Reading Festival 2016

What a weekend for music; Reading Festival 2016 stepped back from their traditional sound of rock and stepped towards a wider selection of genres.

Credit: Graham Berry

Credit: Graham Berry

What a weekend for music; Reading Festival 2016 stepped back from their traditional sound of rock and stepped towards a wider selection of genres.

With double headliners, and some other fantastic acts performing over the weekend, it was nearly impossible to see everyone on our wishlist. So we present to you guys at home our 12 standout performance from Reading Festival 2016 – enjoy!

Source: Graham Berry

Source: Graham Berry

Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls – Main Stage – Friday

Opening the main stage, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls got the crowd dancing with their soulful beats.

‘I Still Believe’ set the scene well and got the crowds storming with people singing word for word to every song. Frank seemed to know how to please his fans as he’s intertwined within the crowd, but there was still plenty of room to dance too – what a bonus!

The stage was basic, but that’s standard for an opening act, but the simplicity worked well for them. Their stage presence had so much energy that it didn’t matter if you could see what was on stage or not.

Their set list was perfect, and any fan couldn’t ask for more. With the likes of ‘Recovery,’ ‘Out of Breath,’ and ending with ‘Four Simple Rules,’ there was something you could dance too. – SW

Source: Graham Berry

Source: Graham Berry

Boy Better Know – Main Stage – Friday

One of biggest questions in modern music is: how has grime become a major genre? Against all the odds we’ve seen the grime break world records, invade the American market and capture the imagination of a whole generation.

Over a decade later and the genre’s frontrunners and originators have found themselves on Reading Festival’s stage, the grime collective Boy Better Know. Standing in front on of the biggest crowds of the day was the in-house DJ, Maximum. The feeling of anticipation is vibrating through these thousands, and just while waiting for Maximum to drop the first track, time stood still. Within an instant, JME storms on stage igniting the energy that comes hand-in-hand with grime; and in JME’s hand was a bunch of grapes, reppin’ that Vgang. Like a domino effect, Skepta, Jammer, Frisco, Shorty and Solo 45 emerge with a more organised approach that your usual Eskimo Dance performance. With a distinguish setlist tracks like ‘Too Many Men‘, ‘That’s Not Me‘, ‘Funny‘, ‘Feed ‘Em To The Lions‘, and ‘Shutdown‘ play back to back.

Reading and Leeds Festival have been major players to help push grime to where the genre is now and allowing the likes of BBK to on the main stage is proof. Find out why we think Reading Festival has become the unexpected home of Grime, here. – JP

Credit: Graham Berry

Credit: Graham Berry

Twenty One Pilots – NME Stage – Friday

With an extremely overcrowded, sweaty tent and hundreds of eager fans waiting for Twenty One Pilots, you could tell this was going to be an epic show.

‘Fairly Local’ got the anticipated crowd going before they delved into ‘Hevydirtysoul.’ It was an intense performance with the infamous Suicide Squad song ‘Heathens,’ filling the ears of Reading Festival. You could hear the passion in the fans voices as they sang along word for word to the American musical duo’s lyrically genius songs.

Alongside superb light strobes and visuals, the duo put on an ecstatic, pump-fisting show. Josh did his infamous back flips and drumming on top of the crowd – all the things that you didn’t want to miss at Reading this year.

Of course, no gig is ever complete without a fantastic cover. TOP covered House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around,’ and finished their set with The Next Episode by Dr Dre. If it’s one way to get the crowd jumping and keen for the next performance, that’s one way to do it. You could feel the excitement radiating from every soul within the NME tent that evening.

The performance was concluded soon after Tyler crowd surfed during ‘Car Radio’ where his mask, shoes and shirt were torn apart while he got to the platform. After the happening of this, they shortly ended their set with Tyler stating, ‘Josh, we’re done.’ It was a disappointing end to a fantastic performance. – SW

Credit: Josh Pratt

Credit: Josh Pratt

Wiley – 1Xtra Stage – Friday

Due to G-Eazy choosing to perform with Britney Spears at the MTV Awards, the BBC Radio 1Xtra tent had no headliner, until the Godfather himself; Wiley saved the day. Let’s be honest this probably worked in the festival’s favour, not to undermine G-Eazy – we know he puts on a fantastic show after seeing him early this year at Coachella – but more because a significant portion of Wiley’s fanbase was stood at the main stage a few hours before watching BBK.

Now these new grime fans are warmed up it’s time to show them where it all started, and what better setting than in the 1Xtra tent; a radio station that’s always supported the scene, very poetic. In a casual fashion, the Godfather walks and meets a rammed tent. The selector gets the track on the mark, and ready, set, go, Wiley sprays that fire. After jumping down to the photo pit to meet a couple of fans at the front, he’s soon joined by Roll Deep member Strachy. From here the two are cruising through Wiley’s catalogue of hits, until the next special guest arrives, JME. With the three delivering bar after bar, and Logan Sama casually filming on stage, it had the essence of an Eskimo Dance performance.

Mixed up within the heavy duty grime set, we heard Wiley’s more commercial material. This was the time for the crowd to have their sing-a-long as thousands of voices echo the catchy hook of ‘Can You Hear Me,’ but from our view, it became a period of Wiley’s set where we felt empathy for him. Yes, it’s weird to feel that for someone who’s music has enabled him to live his dream, but his facial expression implied that playing this part of his show has become a chore, and a speed bump in his legacy of being the greatest MCs to have ever done it.

Leaving the stage, Wiley seemed proud of his performance, and so he should. His set mixed old and new material cohesively, leaving ever person there with an infectious buzz. Considering how long Wiley has been doing this, he could easily outperform any of the new cats. There’s something special about his presence like something is embedded into your brain that his voice and flow is what grime should sound like; his performance was more authentic with depth, a bit like a vintage whisky that just keeps getting better with age. – JP

Source: Chris Hines

Source: Chris Hines

Heck – The Pit – Saturday

“What the hell just happened?!”, is probably the phrase most heard from the crowd after watching Heck’s set on The Pit stage this weekend. As the band destroyed everyone’s ear drums with their rock/mathcore wall of sound, they also made certain that every second of their set was as intense as humanly possible. With instruments flying above heads, the band is probably spending more time in the crowd than on the stage. The vocalist scaling the tents inner pole to definitely unsafe heights, the set may not have been what you would have called the most musically “tight”, but as far as putting on a show is concerned, they certainly kept your eyes and ears locked in tight. One of the most exciting sets of the weekend. Explosive stuff. – CH

You Me At Six – The Pit – Saturday

Not even the ridiculous humidity that settled over Reading Festival on Saturday put fans off from packing tightly into The Pit for You Me At Six’s no-so-secret secret set. With only a short fixed period to fill, the band stick to the fan favourites both old and new. From the classic ‘Underdog’ and ‘Stay With Me’ to the more recent ‘Room to Breathe’ and ‘Bite My Tongue’ – with Josh taking over Oli Sykes’ screamo part. Fans were even treated to a sneak preview of the band’s upcoming fifth album as they performed new single ‘Night People’, which sounds pretty anthemic live. The set was short but sweet, providing a huge dose of energy and excitement in the most intimate gig setting they’ve played for a long time. – CR

Two Door Cinema Club – NME Stage – Saturday

Saturday night at festivals is well known for being a rough time of day and what’s needed is an act that can cater for the needs of thousands of drunk punters. Luckily for us, Two Door Cinema Club was on hand to do just that.

They’re most definitely one of those bands who have an incredible back catalogue of songs, but you don’t realise just how many until you see them live. From the first note to the last the energy in the Radio 1 / NME tent was incredible, as the band thrashed through massive tunes such as ‘Undercover Martyn’, ‘Something Good Can Work’ and ‘I Can Talk’. The band’s exceptional musicianship gleamed throughout; the vocals were pitch perfect, and their instruments were as tight as can be. Ending their set with arguably their biggest banger of all ‘What You Know’, the crowd goes euphorically crazy for one last time. A truly memorable performance to end the second day of music. – CR

Black Foxxes Reading Festival 2016

Source: Chris Hines

Black Foxxes – NME Stage – Sunday

Opening the NME tent to a crowd of morning festival goers is never an easy job, but Black Foxxes were certainly ready for the challenge. As the band stormed through tracks from their recently released debut album ‘I’m Not Well’, it wasn’t long before this sleepy crowd were wide-awake and took in the chilling melodies and powerful grit that Black Foxxes had to offer.

Black Foxxes ability to convey emotion through their music is something incredibly unique, and something not a lot of bands can always pull off live and on the recording. Tracks such as ‘River’ and ‘Whatever Lets You Cope’ have that ability to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as they flow from gentle and delicate to roaring and powerful seamlessly and executed with such beauty.

Having played The Pit stage last year, it was great to see the band given the chance to perform to an even bigger audience this year, and here’s hoping that today’s set will act, once again, as a stepping stone to even bigger, and better things. An incredible performance from one of the UK’s most exciting bands. – CH

Source: Graham Berry

Source: Graham Berry

ASAP Rocky – Main Stage – Sunday

Standing in between two inflatable stacks of £50 notes and in front of a decaying building backdrop stood Harlem, New York’s very own A$AP Rocky. After following his career from the Purple Swag EP, it’s a proud moment to see one of modern rap’s biggest star performing on such a historical and prestigious stage.

The notorious main stage at Reading Festival hasn’t always been kind to hip-hop; 50 Cent and G-Unit were bottled off at one point in history. This behaviour is clearly something of the past as the notable change in attendees embraced Lord Flacko’s slow entrance with the track ‘L$D‘. It didn’t take long before A$AP Twelvyy, and Rocky switched up the gears with ‘Lord Pretty Flacko Joyde II‘, ‘Hella Hoes‘, and his more known material like ‘Fuckin’ Problems‘. Although the set lost is losing momentum with Rocky forcing the crowd to sing-a-long before dropping the song, the music draws out the energy in the crowd and a typical Reading fashion causing a countless amount of mosh pits to emerge.

A$AP Rocky’s performance is more evidence that Reading Festival is moving away from its rock and indie roots. However, the energy and passion shown for the music in the crowd to Flacko’s performance are proof that the high energy spirit is destined to live on at the festival. – JP

Source: Graham Berry

Source: Graham Berry

Fall Out Boy – Main Stage – Sunday

Sharing the last headline slot of the weekend with fellow rockers Biffy Clyro, Fall Out Boy took to the stage to show Reading what they’ve got. Kicking off with high impact ‘The Phoenix’, the tempo doesn’t slow much throughout their performance. The set’s production boasts a number of dancers and a seemingly never-ending fireworks budget, which certainly sets their performance apart from anything we’ve seen from them before. Although they played many crowd pleasers such as ‘Sugar We’re Goin Down’, ‘Dance, Dance’ and ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’, it would have been nice to hear more from their earlier albums. Though with such a theatrical stage set up, it’s not surprising that they stuck to their ‘poppier’ records. Patrick’s exceptional vocal range was on show throughout their performance with the rest of the band sounding just as good, creating a solid headline set. – CR

Good Charlotte – The Pit – Sunday

As Good Charlotte kick off their performance with ‘The Anthem’ on The Pit stage, we couldn’t help feeling that they should have been on a much bigger stage than this. The tent packed out with fans desperate to see the band who soundtracked their teenage years, sang back every word as if it was released just yesterday. Every song they played was met with rapturous applause and cheers – from ‘The Young and the Hopeless’ and ‘Girls & Boys’ to ‘The River’. The band still sounded as brilliant as we remember and it looked like they were having just as much fun as the crowd. Ending the set on a high with ‘I Just Wanna Live’ and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous’, there was a real party atmosphere in the tent and certainly left us wanting more. Come back soon, please! – CR

biffy-clyro-24Biffy Clyro – Main Stage – Sunday

12 years on from their first ever performance at Reading Festival, Biffy Clyro certainly amazed the crowd with a spectacular main stage performance. It’s clear they have rid all pre-festival nerves by interjecting  a ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ riff during their ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies.’

Warming the crowd up with, ‘Wolves of Winter,’ you could feel the excited vibes from Biffy’s humungous fan base at Reading this year. They soon got the crowd dancing and moshing their feet off with their older songs such as ‘Machines,’ ‘That Golden Rule,’ and ‘Mountains.’

Their stage set was a HUGE step up from their headline set in 2013. Creating a 3D box effect, a wicked lighting rig, and a second stage above the standard stage, there wasn’t a thing to hate about this year’ end of festival performers. So even if you are a little on the short, you were still able to see Biffy Clyro in all their glory!

With passion in all of their eyes, you could see the love radiating from Simon Neil’s eyes despite being covered by his sweat ridden hair. With wise words from the God himself, Simon ended their static set with, ‘We are BIFFY FUCKING CLYRO!’ With fireworks, insanely good guitar riffs and the crowd singing along to every single word, it’s true to say Biffy Clyro put on an incredible performance! – SW

You May Also Like

Music

Pop-punk legends get into the Xmas spirit!

Music

New track, new music video and two new albums? Andy B's been busy!

Music

My Llama's In Pieces!