Plus band thank crowd for letting them play on 'Nirvana's stage'

Arcade Fire took a dig at Guns N’ Roses as they headlined Reading Festival tonight (August 28).

Taking to the Main Stage bang on time, frontman Win Butler jokingly referenced the hour-long delay Axl Rose and co inflicted on the audience a night earlier.

“Thanks Reading, we’re very happy to be here,” he told them. “At least we’re punctual, right?”

Butler later admitted he was humbled to be headlining the festival, telling the crowd: “It’s nice to meet you! Look, we’ve never had a hit song, so I don’t know what the fuck we’re doing here, but until someone comes with a hook we’re going to stay.”

The set itself was largely similar to that the band played the night before in Leeds, although they juggled it slightly to add in ‘Modern Man’.

After ‘Haiti’, Butler paused to address the crowd. “I want to thank the Reading Festival for a moment, they donated £20,000 to Partners In Health to help Haiti, so you guys are helping just by being here,” he explained, before teasingly adding: “I heard they might double it if you’re a good enough crowd.”

Later the singer seemed to think the crowd were doing a good enough job, diving into the pit to sing part of ‘We Used To Wait’ from the barrier.

Following ‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’ and ‘Rebellion (Lies)’, the band briefly left the stage but returned to play an encore of ‘Month Of May’ and closer ‘Wake Up’.

“Thank you, I can tell you how much it means to be here,” Butler told the crowd as they began the final song.

“I remember being a kid and watching Nirvana play on this stage, it’s so much history. It means so much. Thanks for supporting us. We’ll see you soon.”

Arcade Fire played:

‘Ready To Start’
‘Keep The Car Running’
‘Neighborhood #2 (Laika)’
‘No Cars Go’
‘Modern Man’
‘The Suburbs’
‘Crown Of Love’
‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)’
‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’
‘We Used To Wait’
‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’
‘Rebellion (Lies)’
‘Month Of May’
‘Wake Up’

Watch the BBC’s footage of Arcade Fire here:

NME is coming live from both sites at Reading And Leeds Festivals this weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals for full coverage including news, reviews, videos and picture galleries.

Plus make sure you buy next week’s issue of NME to get the definitive review of Reading And Leeds Festivals, either on UK newsstands from September 1 or digitally worldwide.