Descendents – Reading Festival Review
Well, they made it past three songs which instantly means this Lock-up headline slot is a better show than their botched Shepherds Bush Empire attempt a couple of months ago. Was it worth the wait? Yeah.
Running through most of their albums and forking out some of their best tracks, with a well-constructed set-list meant this was always likely to be good, when you consider the strength of some of the songs they’re sitting on.
Perhaps predictably, it was the tunes from genre classic Milo Goes to College which get the best reception, and frankly, hearing songs like ‘Myage’, ‘I’m Not a Loser’ and the cynicism-soaked ‘Suburban Home’ doesn’t get old.
Which is more than you can say for the band members, certainly from a visual perspective. Although watching a bunch of men who should know better smashing out melodic hardcore punk is initially disconcerting, the conviction with which Milo Aukerman and company dominate the stage makes the band fully believable.
An album with which a lot of people were introduced to Descendents – mid 90s punk staple Everything Sucks – was also well represented as the festival drew to a close. ‘Rotting Out’, ‘Everything Sux’ and best of all, ‘I’m The One’ see the assembled crowd lose their shit.
A note on the crowd; it’s smaller than you’d hope for, when you consider the standing of the band. Their impact on the scene is evident, by the numbers of other band members standing at the side of the stage to watch, but it would have been nice if this was also reflected with a packed tent.
Understandable perhaps though; Muse playing the entirety of Origins of Symmetry was clearly going to be a big draw, and some people may have caught the make-up show the band played a couple of days before Reading, with Face to Face and H2O, so decided to spend their time elsewhere.
This wasn’t a special show, but it was a good one. And anyone with an interest in the punk genre probably owed it both to themselves, and to some of the most well-respected musicians in the genre, to come along. But I suppose the Descendents didn’t mind, as in their own words, they couldn’t ‘sell out a telephone booth’.