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Reading Festival 2009: Day 2

Our reader Michael L. sends us his impressions of the second day of Reading Festival & explains why even live the Arctic Monkeys are such a grand band.
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Our reader Michael L. sends us his impressions of the second day of Reading Festival & explains why even live the Arctic Monkeys are such a grand band.

The second day of the festival was undoubtedly the one we expected with more agony. Why? Because we'd see up close Alex Turner and gang, a few days after the release of their new album.

After a quick walk to several small tents, and having found that there was nothing worth while, and having lost the guest appearance of "These Crooked Vultures" (because we did not know what time they would play) we went to the Main Stage to have the best possible position for the Monkeys. Quick pass by Ian Brown with a mix of old and new songs from the classic Fools gold of Stone Roses (in a little slower execution) to Stellify from his new album. Without trying very hard, he won over and thrilled the crowd.

Next in line were Maximo Park. For some strange reason this band reminds me a lot of Kaiser Chiefs (probably because both groups bring much energy in their lives ...). Strong start with Girls Who Play Guitars and then with some of their most famous songs with the audience to sing aloud and generally respond very positively. The young average age certainly played an important role. Top songs of the evening were Apply some pressure and Our velocity which closed their set.

After waiting a few minutes, in the scene came Prodigy . Friendly advice: never go in front of such a concert. As much as you may like them, and you want to listen to, do not make this mistake. It was probably the biggest mistake we made all Weekend. The audience of Prodigy (at least in England) is limited to 'hyper' idiots who obviously do not want to hear music, but went to a concert more to push and punch until the bitter end.

Ok I have gone to other "rough" concerts in the past (Gallows) but for the first time there was so much panic around me! Wherever you looked people were being pushed and trying to hold on to something, not to fall down and get trampled (and shouting Take me to the hospital wouldn't help you particularly!). After a strong enough set, one hour plus, Prodigy were now gone and we were anxious to see Arctic on stage!

It was shortly after 10 when Jamie Cook tried for a few seconds his guitar and then ... My propeller! The scene is simple, without spectacular video walls and other effects, despite some critic they had by some of the English press for their appearance at the same festival a few years ago. (As expected) The band from Sheffield played several songs from their new album (Humbug) that was released just a week before the festival, without forgetting the songs from both their past album!

From the new album stood out in particular Crying lighting (already one of the crowds Favorites), Pretty visitors , Potion approaching and Red right hand." Hello we are Arctic Monkeys and I think ... we have time for one more (!) "said Alex Turner before Crying Lighting with the crowd singing with the band the (very popular as shown) first single from their new album. And then, time had come for the old! Strong with Brianstorm, which prior to the concert I thought the worst song of the Monkeys, I fell in love with in the live! Of course there was .... panic when they played their No.1 hit: Bet you look good and When the sun goes down with the crowd  covering sometimes the voice of the singer! ''What ever people say I am, that's what I'm not'' said with meaning Alex Turner before the amazing View From The Afternoon (from the same title album). "We are going to take things down for a bit" and next was the more calm Cornerstone, Do me a favour and a (new) amazing performance of Fluorescent Adolescent ! The band leaves for a while, but returns after the voices of the world for an encore with Secret door and of course the 505 which closed the set and said goodnight!

Overall, although they didn't have the perfect communication with the public (showing τοο cool-perhaps to hide their anxiety) and didn't have the perfect setlist (missing many songs like Fake tales, From the ritz to the bubble) managed to make the crowd take off (which had suffered the Prodigy to hear them). I hope in a few years we can hear them in Greece because it is a band-diamond who still has much to show!

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