With career-defining performances, ridiculous surprise sets and sublime headline acts, it’s a wonder how best to round off Reading festival 2014.
Building to a headline set from Blink 182, Reading is subject to a pop-punk take over with thrashy powerchord riffs the order of the day. On the main stage, Young Guns show off their slick new material from upcoming album set for 2015 release and get the crowd on side in seconds with buckets of charisma. Meanwhile Masked Intruder, dressed in coloured balaclavas spew out teen-rock ballads at break-neck speed, surprising even themselves and having to find additional material to fill the set time. The thuggish masks seem a contradiction to their angsty poppy groove and feel a little pretentious and unnecessary- this however makes no odds to the small but satisfied crowd.
On the main stage thousands flood in for a piece of Papa Roach, who throw everything they’ve got into a raucous set. During the set Jacoby Shaddix screams out, “Put your hands together! Ladies, put your titties together!” a casually sexist remark no one seemed to pick up on at the time. When Sleeping With Sirens follow, there is a far smaller turn out, however the band play remarkably well providing you can get past Kellin Quin’s repeated use of profanities as a means to get cheers from the crowd which tends to become grating a few songs in.
The Kooks promote mostly promising material from new album, Listen and give the crowd what they want with indie anthems ‘Naïve’, ‘Seaside’ and ‘Eddie’s Gun’, before a sea of predominantly teenage girls are moved to tears at the excellence of The 1975, who bring a hysteric girl onto the stage for a private performance.
Finally Blink 182 end the festival with a chaotic but all round excellent performance. Mostly appealing to nostalgic ‘90s teenagers, the band are on form and whip out stomping classics, ‘What’s My Age Again’, ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Rock Show’ with typically epic pyrotechnics and plenty of potty humour. If you can endure or even enjoy a barrage of penis gags, the band did themselves plenty of justice if ever their place in modern music was placed in question.