Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore “co-headlined” Reading Festival tonight (August 22), with Josh Homme’s burly rock wrecking crew following emo-poppers Paramore on the Main Stage in an exciting double bill. Here’s the best snaps from both bands’ sets, kicking off with this energetic snap of the tireless Hayley Williams, bluey-green mane of hair flying in the wind.
Queens closed proceedings in Reading tonight after Paramore’s set finished, with the roles set to be reversed in Leeds tomorrow (23 August). Josh Homme spent a portion of their set decked in a rather suave 1950s jacket like something out of a murder mystery film noir. Maybe he’s excited for the new Sin City film. Either way, the guy looked good.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Paramore. Opening with a storming rendition of ‘Still Into You’, the band made it half way through half their set before technical problems began to creep into ear shot – the speakers began to crackle and cut out intermittently before powering down completely as Williams gave a speech about playing slow songs at festivals.
There was no such problems for Homme and co, whose caterwauling tunes were deployed at rib-quaking volume without interruption. There’s that snazzy coat again. Play it again, Homme…
Paramore were without sound for almost 20 minutes, with just a sole mic at their disposal. Bothered? Nah. The group launched into an almost acapella rendition of ‘Only Exception’, sparking a memorable singalong. It wasn’t long before they were back up and running, with disco balls and everything.
Here, enjoy another look at that dashing coat. The man could be a Burtons winter wear model. You know, if he ever got bored of life as king of blockbuster sleaze rock.
Another snap of Hayley Williams in power-pop pose.
Arriving on the Main Stage at 10.15pm as the green strobes lit up the audience, Josh Homme and co began their set with ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’ from their 2002 album ‘Songs For The Deaf’. Next up was ‘No One Knows’, and well, you can probably the fan-mosh carnage that ensured then.
During ‘Misery Business’ in Paramore’s set, a woman dressed in a dinosaur suit got up onstage and sang the track with Williams.
“Reading, how the hell are you?” Homme said to the crowd, which replied with huge cheers before the band veered into single ‘My God Is The Sun’, from their 2013 album ‘Like Clockwork’. He later introduced ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ by asking “Reading, are you feeling good? Are you feeling as good as we’re feeling?” See what you did there, Josh.
Hailing headliners Queens Of The Stone Age as Paramore’s set neared a close, Williams told the crowd: “Queens Of The Stone Age are a band we’ve waited a long, long time to see play,” before adding: “Today was a super eclectic group of bands on this stage and I want to commend you for loving music, all kinds of it.”
Not ones to skimp on theatrics, Queens shot lazers and white circular lights out into the crowd.
Paramore wrapped up their set with ‘Proof’ and ‘Ain’t It Fun’ from their 2013 self-titled album.
This was the first time Queens Of The Stone Age have headlined the festival, after performing earlier slots throughout their career. Bit of a milestone.
Paramore drew the bigger crowd of the evening but Queens got a wilder reaction. Who won? Hard to say…
Other Queens tracks included ‘The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret’, ‘Little Sister’ and ‘Go With The Flow’.
Other songs in Paramore’s set included ‘That’s What You Get’, ‘Decode’ and ‘Let The Flames Begin’.
Ahead of ‘The Vampyre Of Time And Memory’ in Queens’ set, Homme said: “Right so it’s such a modern fucking world everybody, take your phone out and take a picture of everyone. Everyone hold their phones up.” As the phones lit up the crowd, he added: “That’s the modern world for you. Welcome to the modern world.”
Paramore’s weren’t without their own fiesty stage banter too: “For those of you who don’t know us… you’re about to” she told the crowd as their set roared into gear early on.
…aaaaand that’s day one over at Reading. Keep your eyes peeled to NME.com for more updates from both Reading and Leeds across the weekend. The fun’s just getting going.