Bring Me The Horizon played one of the biggest shows of their career, as they dominated the main stage at Reading after Alexisonfire and Royal Blood yesterday (Saturday 29 August).
“Now we’d like to ask you to open this place up as big as it will go. Pit enforces, please make yourselves visible now,” states the calm voice of a woman coming form the satirical health and safety video playing to the mass gathered for BMTH. No sooner is the video over, it begins.
“S.P.I.R.I.T. Spirit, let's hear it,” cries out over the speakers for ‘Happy Song’, the second single released from soon to arrive and change our lives album, That’s the Spirit. The main stage crowd know every word, managing to drown out frontman and vocalist Oli Sykes. “Yeah, that's the spirit.”
Smashing straight into Sempiternal classics, ‘Shadow Moses’, ‘House of Wolves’ and ‘Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’, Sykes doesn’t have a moment of rest - he ricochets across the stage, raising his arms to the sky as if asking the crowd to ascend with him.
Emotionally addressing the crowd, Sykes thanked the fans for their support to help him "go from being a drug addict to working for you every fucking day".
Only the best of the old but classic BMTH tracks are brought to bare at Reading, ‘Chelsea Smile’ and ‘Blessed with a Curse’. Finishing with, and clearly setting to tone for the band’s new trajectory is ‘Drown’ - and what a way to end.
We really rarely say this but BMTH were pretty close to perfection last night. We daresay they'll probably headline Download Festival next year. Now is their time.
Before Royal Blood delivered another defining performance, we had something else in store.
We look up at the main stage expectantly. A black banner with an intricate white logo slowly unfurls, as if a band are being monumentally resurrected. The sound from the crowd swells as Alexisonfire take to the stage.
The first track from Watch Out, ‘Accidents’ cries out, slingshotting us back to 2004, then on to the infectious beat of ‘Boiled Frogs’.
“For those of you who don't know who we are, we’re Alexisonfire,” shouts guitarist Wade MacNeil. “For those of you who do know, push everyone else out of the way and get to the front. This one’s called ‘The Northern.’” This song divides the crowd, allowing new and long standing fans to identify one another but enjoy regardless.
Watch our interview with Dallas Green at Reading below
Between the menacing growls of frontman George Pettit, ripping and dragging the collar of his tee shirt away, bassist Chris Steele’s sultry stomping, psychedelic dancing and arm waving - there is never a dull moment with this band.
“This is a circle pit starter”, yells George. Yes it is. ‘Dog’s Blood’ causes an eruption from the crowd, the likes of which harked back to the band’s heyday, fuelling everybody to jump, bounce and throw fists to the sky.
In December 2012, heavy hearts made their way to Alexis farewell gigs across the country, sad times indeed. We love that Alexis have reunited for Reading and Leeds, but is there more to it? “There’s been a lot of speculation about what this means, about why we’re here,” admits George. “I'm gonna clear that up for you right now.” The clarification is 2002 classic ’44 Calibre Love Letter’ - more cryptic than clear. Watch this space.
Reading Festival ends tonight with performances from The Libertines, Kendrick Lamar, Jamie T, The Maccabees, Refused and more, while Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon and more head to Leeds.
Check back at Gigwise for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Reading and Leeds 2015.