(Photo Credit: Melanie Aguilar)
So then with everyone suffering a Metallica sized hangover from Saturday night’s exploits, it was time for one of the most highly anticipated sets, certainly from our perspective, of the weekend. Feed The Rhino (11/13) are one of the hardest working bands on the circuit at the moment and for them to be given this opportunity to open up the Main Stage was just absolutely huge. Live they’ve been able to adapt to any situation, and at absolutely no point during their set did they seem in the slightest intimidated by any of this. There was an odd balance in the crowd as the right hand side of the barrier seemed far more vacant than the busier left but the band were able to use this. Lee Tobin as a front man is just brilliant; stomping around and constantly making sure that throughout the set he kept everyone engaged.
Following on from this we camped out almost exclusively in The Pit stage for the rest of the day. Hawk Eyes (10/13) are a band who we’ve featured heavily on Room Thirteen over the last few years, and live they always deliver. The crowd for their set was a little thin, but they didn’t really let that hold them back. The set was heavy and erratic and helped expose just how original they sound to a tent of people who may not have ever heard of them before.
Later that afternoon, Turbowolf (13/13) arrived. Oh yes indeed. Turbowolf’s stock has risen quite substantially in the last year, right down to the point that posters for their new album Two Hands were plastered across the site. We’ve said it so often, but genuinely there are few bands as exciting as Turbowolf are live at the moment - it really and truly doesn’t matter where they play, they will get the crowd pumped up. Picking tracks from across both their releases, there wasn’t a single track in the set which didn’t have the crowd absolutely frothing at the mouth with fervent excitement. Rose For The Crows and Solid Gold in particular had security running around in a panic as the place just absolutely erupted. They’ve been touring pretty much nonstop for a couple of years now and it shows because as a unit they are phenomenally tight, and just completely on point. Easily one of the performances of the weekend.
Next up were Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (11/13) who delivered, as expected, a really vicious, savage set. Frank came on to the stage to an absolute hero’s welcome - Gallows were always favourites at this festival and it has felt like too long since we’ve seen him with the same kind of venom in his eyes. He touchingly brought on his new born baby on to the stage, showing his more affectionate side before quite humorously launching himself in to the crowd for the next track, crowd surfing and screaming his way right to the back of the tent. We mentioned it earlier with HO99O9’s show, it is rare to have a band who present this real element of danger in their set, but with Frank Carter back and on such scathing form he brings this in abundance.
Later on the same stage came Bury Tomorrow (12/13) who are another band seriously on the rise at the moment. Since they released Runes last year, the trajectory that Bury Tomorrow have been on has been almost unrivalled in the heavy scene. They hit the stage more boisterous and animated than they’ve ever been live before, smashing through track after track in a beautifully punishing performance. Key moments during the set included circle pits around the two pillars which just looked insane, and a separate Male and Female pit to gauge who was more insane after the band amusingly confessed that most of their shows are dominated by Male audiences. The highlight of the show was easily Man On Fire which sounded like it absolutely soared across the Reading site. This band have everything in their grip if they keep this going.
Next up came one of Canada’s finest, the motherfuckin’ Cancer Bats (12/13). As a live band Cancer Bats have always delivered, and with them opening up to suggestions on tracks to play on social media prior to the tour we were treated to a couple of relatively rare gems including Drunken Physics. The crowd at some points during the show were absolutely deafening, especially during the crushing Hail Destroyer. Cancer Bats have always fared brilliantly in the UK, and as shown by the size of the crowd spilling far out of the tent their support is an ever growing force. Liam was particularly robust in his performance, excelling brilliantly at keeping the crowd going at 110% throughout - as a unit they seemed particularly pleased with the reaction gained from some of the tracks off of the latest record. Another key contender for one of the performances of the weekend.
Following on immediately from them came touring mates from earlier in the year While She Sleeps (11/13) who much like Cancer Bats before them attracted an absolutely fervent crowd. The band have boosted their status in the Heavy music scene hugely in the last year or so, and with that has come some ferocious live sets. Whilst this one was undoubtedly great, it did feel a bit more subdued in comparison to Cancer Bats before them. Much like their set at Camden Rocks earlier in the year you just begin to get the impression that they’re burning themselves out a little bit - you’d be hard pressed to find a band who have toured harder than these guys this year. But all of that is a little unfair as well because even when it doesn’t feel like they’re on the absolute top of their game they still delivered one of the most crushingly fun sets all weekend. There wasn’t a single track in the set where the crowd weren’t bouncing - the While She Sleeps momentum train continues to smash forward.
So then another year wrapped up. Reading & Leeds Festival is truly one of the greatest events in the world of Music, and with a line up as brilliant and diverse as this year's, it is difficult to see how they'll match it next year. What are we saying? Of course they will. Early Bird tickets are already on sale NOW.