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Top 5: R&L Headliners

Welcome to a new feature her at Strictly Festivals: our weekly top 5. Each week we’ll be asking our writers to give their opinion on a variety of topics spanning Reading and Leeds‘ past and present.

This week it’s the top 5 Headliners. Who were the five best names Reading has ever had at the top of the bill, who lived up to the hype, created a legacy and put on one hell of a show.

As always we love to hear from are readers so feel free to give us your top 5s on the comment section or on the Facebook fan page.

Craig Brooks

The Pixies On Stage in '05

5. Pixies (2005)

My biggest regret in music is that i started going to Reading the year after  the Pixies headlined. Every song was played to such an appreciative and large audience. Hearing songs such as “Debaser” and :Where is My Mind” live building such a special connection between the band and audience is something truly special to be a part of. They played 28 songs and if Reading is ever going to return to the lofty heights it was once at then booking a band like the Pixies would be a huge first step.

4. Rage Against The Machine (2008)

When RATM reformed and got announced for the festival it created a major buzz with Reading and Leeds Festival goers which could be felt throughout Reading 08. The energy was electric as they walked out in Guantanmo bay suits and it boiled over into an explosion when they broke into the opening tune “Bombtrack”. I’ve never known people so far back from the stage to be so involved and enthusiastic over an entire set, you could see just from looking at peoples faces they knew they were
witnessing something special. After the final track “Killing In The Name” all you could do was just stand back in awe over what you’d just seen.

3. Metallica (2008)

Metallica are a band that I;ve been adamant for years were overrated and werent my cup of Tea. Didnt really make a proper decision to watch them, just stood near the back of the arena not expecting much. Straightaway they grabbed my attention and its as if every song was magnetically pulling me towards the stage. Proper adrenaline pumping music and you couldnt help but appreciate the quality of their performance whether you were a fan or not. Reading Festival 2008 was the time I finally “got” Metallica.

2. Muse (2006)

Muse were one of the headliners for the first ever Reading festival I attended and didn’t let me down, the aura and atmosphere before they came on was so much different to a regular gig. Massive songs like “Hysteria” and “Plug In Baby” blasted out so much energy which was fed straight back by the crowd. There wasn’t heaps of talking between songs, classic after classic was played to perfection, leaving everyone on a high for the rest of the weekend.

1. Arcade Fire (2010)

Arcade Fire being announced as a headliner drew alot of scepticism from Reading Festival goers, not so much about whether they were good enough or not but whether they were big enough. Being one of my favourite bands I never had any doubts and was blown away with the ease in which they created one of those special Reading moments that stays with you forever. Classic after classic was belted out with raw power and enthusiam which radiated through their captivated audience, just a shame it had to end.



Author: david

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