Funny my pal JP in Italy mentions ‘Rage Against the Machine’…I just saw them play the famous Reading Music Festival on Sunday past. Their reputation as a great live band is well-deserved, even with some on-again off-again sound problems.
The energy was as thick as the ganja smoke in the air (note to the man: I did not partake). I’ve been to quite a few of these things (HFS-tivals in DC, Lollapaloozas, etc) and this crowd was as densely packed as any. There were times when whole sections of the pit just collapsed on itself. But everyone scrambled to help each other in good mosh-pit etiquette. I was surprised to see so many crowd surfers though. Didn’t think the Brits did that.
After Rage, the Kiss/WWF band, Slipknot, played and rocked what remained of the place to the ground. They were fun to watch and were great at playing to the crowd. At one point they got everyone to get down on the ground and leap up when the music kicked in. Should be an awesome sight (we’re talkin thousands) and they said it was filmed for a soon-to-be-released video. Man, those two bands back-to-back? What were the schedulers thinking? People were spent.
Slipknot had a very loyal following, with many fans dressing as them and knowing their lyrics. So I guess not all Brits are into boy bands, bad Techno music, and Spice Girl crap. Cool thing was, some slam dance circles opened up during Slipknot’s set. Believe it or not, a welcome relief from being ass-to-groin with somebody and having crowd surfers landing on your head.
Well, it’s Wednesday and I’m still sore, plus I got a nasty case of what i call ‘mosh-pit disease’ all over my forearms. Am i the only one who gets this? It starts as a poison ivy kinda itching and escalates to a rash and major, painful swelling. I’ve gotten it twice before at festivals. Also sad to report that my souvenir program was pretty much destroyed. It was in my backpack and sweat just soaked through and ruined it. And we’re in bloody England, where it was cloudy and barely 80 degrees. Also had to settle for unofficial concert shirts from illegal street vendors. (Sorry, Pete, real ones sold out.) Anyway, the show was worth it.
Did i mention it was huge? tons of food and merchandise booths and, besides the main stage, there were four other stages plus a comedy tent. Caught a great band in the dance tent called ‘Manchild’. After slipknot, Placebo and Stereophonics played. I left about 2/3 way through the Stereophonics set only to find out that Mr. Tom Jones made a surprise appearance and closed out the festival with his hit, “Sex Bomb”. I had a feeling something like that would happen. Oh well, if it were Radiohead, I’d really be pissed.