This Reading was a special one, for so many reasons. Be it the 20th year since that legendary performance, or a certain band playing a certain stage, it seems everyone, both in the crowd and on the stage, has had something to make this Reading particularly unique. For the English 5 piece, it was their first time ever headlining the festival, after having headlined apparently everywhere else.
Before they took the stage, the ominous theme of Jaws undertook the arena, as the tension built toward the anthemic Days Are Forgotten. Not to be ones to heavily rely on new material, the band launched quickly between Shoot The Runner, then back to Velociraptor! to be followed by Underdog, making this a set which really showcased the bands career so far. The instrumentation was tight, Pizzorno’s drifty guitar squeals are as perfect as they need to be for their biggest gig so far.
References and snippets fly as fast as the hits. The Prodigy, E.T, A Clockwork Orange, and Fatboy Slim all make appearances through the evening. The most talked about addition though is Tom’s acapella version of The Beatles’ She Loves You, which has an adoring crowd swaying and bellowing the lyrics back. It was a special moment for sure, though there is but one gripe for the set that feels too real for me.
It all seemed a little too safe. Yeah the additions and specialties are cool and all, but I guess it’s just intrinsic with a band like Kasabian that they aren’t exactly a huge risk. Everything feels very much in their comfort zone, unlike Foo Fighters’ inclusion of Alone + Easy Target and Exhausted, genuine steps out of the norm for a band who’ve been around for almost the same amount of time. But Kasabian do well, considering. Whether it was nerves, or it was just trying to not mess it up, I don’t know. But they delivered a strong set, and proved their right to close the second night off, finally. William Sorenson