74. Red Hot Chili Peppers
21st Century Appearances: 2007 Headliner
The Defining Reading Moment: Kicking Out Their Own Power Cables To Start A Disastrous Headline Slot.
Well this is a real head-scratcher. 2007, as a year, was defined by headline flops and sub-headliner triumphs. Kings Of Leon blew Razorlight out of the water, Arcade Fire embarrassed the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nine Inch Nails were too poignant and powerful to be overlooked (despite a good showing from Smashing Pumpkins).
So what are Red Hot Chili Peppers doing here? It’s hard to say, but looking back, their performance was pivotal. They drew one of the biggest crowds in Reading history, the BBC reported the event was oversold to the tune of 100,000 (and trust me it felt that way), and it wasn’t all bad. “Wet Sand” was a beautiful centrepiece moment, “Scar Tissue” never leaves a dry eye in the house, and “Give It Away” never fails as an encore anthem, but the set still fell flat. It was disjointed, awkward and yet still awesome in places. Ultimately, RHCP’s failure was a key moment in Reading history, an unforgettable flop, played out in front of the festival’s largest reported audience. It was a huge moment that is etched in festival fans memories for better or worse. David Hayter