Nine Inch Nails, Haim, Editors, Hadouken! and Villagers kick off the final day at Richfield Avenue
Biffy Clyro brought the festival to a finish for the year with a pyrotechnic-fueled set on the Main Stage. Opening with ‘Different People’, the band played largely the same set to the one aired in Leeds on Friday. As fireworks lit up the night after a grand finale of ‘Mountains’, frontman Simon Neil told the crowd: “Reading, thank you so, so much. We’re Biffy fucking Clyro. We love you.” For more on their set read the full report.
Nine Inch Nails performed before Biffy Clyro’s headline slot on the Main Stage after a war of words broke out with Trent Reznor, the festival promoters and Biffy Clyro. For more on that read the full report.
Earlier Haim took to the NME Radio 1 stage to Jay-Z’s ’99 Problems’, blowing kisses to the crowd, as they launched straight into ‘Better Off’. Watched by an impressively huge crowd, which included Biffy Clyro bassist James Johnston and all of The Family Rain, they told fans they’d been “waiting for this show all summer.” Recently revealed single ‘The Wire’ appeared early in the set as the audience clapped along and waved homemade signs inscribed with slogans like “kiss me” and “let me be a Haim sister”. As the group, including live drummer Dash Hutton, entered their now standard jam section of their set, bassist Este announced: “This is the part of the show where me and my sisters like to jam. We pretend this is my living room in the valley in California. I’d actually rather be in Reading right now.”
‘Falling’ followed the brief improvised interlude, with Este declaring this to be “the best summer ever.” After the song, guitarist and keyboardist Alana informed the crowd: “I was here yesterday and you guys fucking know how to party. Holy shit! I’ve never seen so many happy people running around and stoked to be here.” Entering the final section of their set with a mammoth version of ‘Don’t Save Me’, Este requested some assistance from the sisters’ fans. “This is our first time in Reading ever so I need a tour guide,” she told them. “I need a food stand without cheese — I’m vegan — I need some kind of beer and I need someone to give me a cuddle.” The trio then closed their set with renditions of ‘Forever’ and ‘Let Me Go’, including drum ensemble ending.
Over on the Main Stage, Editors played a typically grandiose set. Airing tracks from their latest album ‘The Weight Of Your Love’, the Birmingham band performed in front of a backdrop of the record’s artwork. ‘Formaldehyde’ and ‘A Ton Of Love’ were received particularly warmly by the crowd amassed, along with earlier cuts ‘Munich’ and ‘Racing Rats’. The band drew their set to a close with a storming version of ‘Papillon’, with frontman Tom Smith telling the audience, “Thank you very much Reading. Have a great night with Biffy Clyro. Enjoy it. We’ll see you soon.”
Beforehand, Hadouken! drew a huge crowd to the Main Stage for their dance-infused set. Some fans in the crowd even piled up a collection of inflatable rowing boats for their crowd surfing antics. Over on the Radio 1Xtra Stage, Waka Flocka Flame brought a clutch of fans up onstage for their high energy set. It all started on ‘Rooster In My ‘Rari’ when one fan was pulled up by the rapper, who threw his top and shoes into the crowd. Then Waka spotted another member of the audience dressed as a chicken and stopped the track momentarily to allow the fan to make their way to the stage. “Make some motherfucking noise for the Rooster man,” he screamed as more stage invaders stepped up including one dressed as a cow.
Villagers played a mid-afternoon slot on the NME Radio 1 stage to a sparse but appreciative crowd. Opening with ‘Set The Tigers Free’ from their Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’, the crowd grew as the set progressed on to include songs from the band’s second album ‘Awayland’. Midway through ‘The Bell’, frontman Conor J O’Brien let out an anguished howl before dropping to his knees. He then finished the song by joining in on percussion. The set was wrapped up by ‘Ship Of Promises’, before which the singer thanked the crowd for coming to watch their set.
Earlier, Dinosaur Pile-Up opened the stage, kicking off events with a short set laced with tracks from their 2011 debut ‘Growing Pains’ including ‘Birds And Planes’ and ‘Mona Lisa’ along with tracks from their recent album ‘Nature Nurture’. Pumping the crowd up, singer Matt Bigland said: “Reading how fucking pumped are you to be alive? We’re psyched to be here,” before giving a shout out to the bands playing after them. “There’s so many good bands on this stage, fucking Haim, Phoenix. We’re fucking excited to be here. We hope you are too.”
As they wrapped up their set with new tracks ‘Arizona Waiting’ and their second album’s title track, the frontman joked: “We had a new record that came out about a month ago. For all those guys that have got it great. Those who haven’t fucking go and get it because I’ve got your addresses and I’ll come round to your houses.” Californian pop-punk group Wavves followed. Fronted by Nathan Williams, the band ran through tracks from their latest album ‘Afraid Of Heights’, along with other songs ‘King Of The Beach’ and ‘Idiot’.
Meanwhile, Wretch 32 played a surprise set on the BBC Introducing stage, treating fans and passers-by to a short performance before his headline appearance tonight on the BBC 1Xtra stage. Over on the Festival Republic stage, Bath brothers The Family Rain played a lively set as they made their debut at Richfield Avenue. Singer William Walter was overwhelmed by the crowd’s lively response as he declared: “This is our first time at Reading so thank you for congregating on mass,” before he later invited members of the audience to come and meet the band after fan favourite ‘Trust Me…I’m A Genius’. He added: “This is our last song. You’re welcome to come and meet us after the gig but we are a bit pissed. Until next year have a fucking great night. Peace out.” He then dived into the crowd down by the front before the band left the stage. Like their Leeds performance earlier this weekend, Merchandise drew a fairly small crowd as they performed tracks from ‘Children Of Desire’ and ‘Totale Night’. “You’re already kicking the shit out of Leeds,” singer Carson Cox declared early on before adding: “Thank you all for coming it means so much to us.” They ended their set with ‘Time’ and ‘I Locked The Door.’