Sunday, 22 August 2010

Reading Festival 2010: Preview

The reformation of blink-182, the critically acclaimed new Arcade Fire album, the false fears that Gun n' Roses would pull out thanks to a twitter hacker - Reading and Leeds festival has been the most anticipated of the year.

Hosting performances from some of the freshest talent plus nostalgia inducing bands from our childhood, Reading and Leeds have outdone themselves with an incredible line-up and tickets selling out in minutes as usual.

The unsigned acts of the BBC Introducing stage are sure to go home with an array of new fans satisfied in finding something they hadn't heard of before. I myself haven't heard of anyone playing said stage, so let's see how many I'm typing into Spotify by the time I get home.

The Festival Republic stage holds some of the best contemporary talent around including my latest obsession Freelance Whales who are sure to excite crowds with danceable, bouncy synths and an American accent cool enough to make your knees melt. Irish Alt-Rockers Ash is another band plucked from the childhood of the 90s kid and popped onto the FR stage who are headlining Leeds on Friday and Reading on Saturday.

For those who love to sweat and stink, the Lock Up Stage will see to it that the stench of moshing hardcore fans is forever integrated into your skin. Cancer Bats, Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion are playing alongside mystery band 'The Rats', a secret gig by a band who nickname their fans by this appellation...see if you can work it out.

This stage also has a day dedicated to dance music as it doubles up as The Dance Stage where punters can blow of some steam to the talents of Four Tet, Roots Manuva and Holy Fuck - to name a few.

Jittery electronic band LCD Soundsystem, Drum and Bass heroes Pendulum and 'Nu Rave' band Klaxons renowned for incredible energetic live performances are this years headliners of the NME/Radio 1 stage. These bands will also serve as the most likely competitors for crowds of the Main Stage headliners, not that either will have any trouble filling up their capacities.

Now here's the really exciting part, the Main Stage. Packed with legends of Punk and Skate Rock, Heavy Rock and Indie; the very thought of seeing so many brilliant blasts from the past and contemporary kings is almost overwhelming.

The penultimate act to Gun n' Roses are a band prestigious for creating unbeatable head-banging rock; Queens Of The Stone Age. A definite crowd-pleaser, tracks such as 'No One Knows' and 'Go With The Flow' will contribute towards a great warm up set to whatever Axl Rose may have in store.

The excellent and eagerly awaited new Arcade Fire album 'The Suburbs' has reminded the public just how great the band are. The classics will go down well, but unlike most performances the new songs are what I am looking forward to most.

Motion City Soundtrack kick off the main stage on Saturday (Leeds) and Sunday (Reading). A better start to your Sunday than most, MCS are a great band to set the ball rolling for a day consisting of Limp Bizkit, Weezer and Cypress Hill.

But my Reading weekend is all building up to one act - the once in a lifetime opportunity to sing 'I Miss You' with blink-182 themselves. The act I can't get out of my head, the most infectious and quotable lyrics; their songs are on everyone's lips. My excitement is uncontainable, my bladder is unreliable and my Travis Barker t-shirt has arrived in the post - I'm set.

So, will Axl Rose storm off stage following a lecture on safety regarding bottle throwing? Will Arcade Fire's new material be a hit? On a scale of incredible to mindblowing, where will blink-182's much anticipated set land? Only one way to find out. See you there!

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