||[Aug. 26th, 2008|06:25 pm]
What she said and what he said about it all already is hilarious and brilliant, so I'll try to keep this brief:
Thursday: The prize for Most Annoying Obstacles for reaching the Festival is awarded jointly to the M25 and the M4. It took me three and a half hours to get from Cambridge to Reading!! Finally arrived and found the others in a very cramped campsite that seemed to contain at least 50,000 extra festival-goers than previous years. Put up my tent with no help from adults, for which I was ridiculously proud of myself. Tent got massacred slightly when a fence-jumping tosser used it to break his fall at 2am. Luckily for me, I was in the party tent and therefore did not suffer broken legs. Deano suffered a worse fate when his wallet got nicked in the night. Several nearby tents were also raided. It wasn't a great start to the festival and it didn't do much to restore my confidence in the festival organisers. Or humankind generally.
Friday: I was a bit disappointed with Taking Back Sunday, I think because the rubbish early shift sound guy was on so the lead guitar was really low in the mix, but also because the singer doesn't seem to have the required ooomph to convey the lyrics live with as much power and tension as he does on the CD. Serj Tankian was good and his album is very near the top of my Amazon wishlist as a result. I was put out by the excitement levels Dizzee Rascal generated (surpassed only by the reaction Rage got later on) because I entirely selfishly want Reading to be a rock festival and I don't like being reminded that it isn't. Queens of the Stone Age were excellent, opening with a very sexy version of Go With The Flow and then playing a very well thought out and perfectly delivered set. And Rage were amazing. Sooooo much energy. That set flashed by so fast. It was packed and I couldn't see a damn thing, but I loved it.
Saturday: I unashamedly loved Bullet For My Valentine while Lizzie mocked me. A bloke walked past us just as they came onstage and announced "The new name for BFMV is The Cuntwaffles", and this amused us quite a lot. Saw a bit of The Killers from a great distance (can only imagine how rammed it was at the main stage) and then saw the Manics. Not a big fan but they were rather good. Post-bands we went to the Silent Disco, which was really cheesey and superb fun. It's not very silent really, because everyone compensates for the lack of blaring music by yelling the lyrics to every song at the tops of their voices. It is still comical switching your own headphones off in the middle of the crowd and listening to everyone hollering their throats out whilst dancing like loonies.
Sunday: Slipknot had cancelled for genuine reasons and Avenged Sevenfold had cancelled for crap reasons - two bands I wanted to see so bit of a downer. Especially as Mindless Self Indulgence somehow moved up the bill a few places as a result, and they were okay at first (an inferior Marilyn Manson sort of thing) but the singer got increasingly annoying until going to the toilet was actually a more attractive option than watching the end of their set. Saw Henry Rollins do a spoken word set on the Alternative Stage which had me alternately laughing hard and feeling my eyes fill up. Very engaging man. Back to the bands, and Feeder were alright, Tenacious D much better than I expected and Metallica...well, I have no words. They were my favourite band of the whole weekend. Closely followed by Rage.
The worst thing about the festival was undoubtedly the toilets. I know they're never pleasant at festivals but the new levels of filth that I saw the Reading toilets sink to this weekend convinces me that the organisers have nothing but contempt for the punters.
The best thing about the festival: the company. I had so much fun! Good to see olds pals but massive thanks to Lizzie and Deano who made the weekend for me. May you never have to listen to disco classics at 7am ever again :-)