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The world of indie and rap collide at Reading Festival

Photo by Lindsay Melbourne


The world of indie and rap collide at Reading Festival

As the weather climbed to the early 30°C Reading Festival opened their gates to their biggest and quite literally hottest year to date. 

A jam packed day of sweltering heat, an abundance of mosh pits and a jam-packed heavy lineup, it was an epic day.  The first on my list was the man of the moment AJ Tracey, previously on our ‘ones to watch’ way back in 2016 his career has gone strength to strength. From seeing him perform at a small venue to shut down the main stage at Reading, it was one of the highlight of the day.  His charisma and energy when performing live is infectious and the crowd were without a doubt receptive to it. With multiple mosh pits rippling through the crowd the electric atmosphere radiated from all corners. Whilst doing my best to stay clear of the eye of the mosh and avidly peering over people’s heads to see AJ Tracey in the flesh, sometimes it was nice just soaking up the vibes around me and the energy the audience brought, whilst they were chanting verse after verse to hype tracks such as ‘Ladbroke Grove’ and ‘Thiago Silva’.

Photo by Phoebe Fox

Off the back of AJ’s performance, the main stage became Billie Eilish’s territory. Her whirlwind of success in the last couple of years saw a worldwide domination where she took the number one spot across the globe for her project ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?’. Her quirky, warped anti-pop style effortless translated on stage and she put on quite the performance. Dressed in green from hair to toe she transcended between hyper-active performances to dreamy and hypnotically vocals. Renowned for her experimental, synth fuelled numbers she also showed another side to her with her incredible voice and stage presence. Although she’s only seventeen the depth to her voice surpasses her years and it became a focal point of her performance.

Photo by Phoebe Fox

US indie-rock band Twenty One Pilots are another genre-blending act that truly represented the diversity in Reading Festival. Although arguably rap and indie are often placed at opposite ends of the music spectrum I feel both Twenty One Pilots and Billie Eilish were able to connect both audiences. The wordsmith that is Tyler Joseph is able to fuse rap with a diverse soundscape that isn’t naturally paired with it and it’s refreshing to see. Having seen Twenty One Pilots earlier this year their energy levels continued to go through the roof, from climbing apparatus to jumping with the crowd, to turning it down a notch by performing a stripped back number of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis, they gave a masterpiece of a set and it’s definitely worth checking them out live if you haven’t already.

Ending the night with an atmospheric set fuelled with fire blazing on the stage to an epic guitar smashing, Post Malone shut down the show. He gave an emotive performance and had fans hooked as he delivered tracks from ‘Better Now’ to ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Goodbyes’. He gave a speech during the set where he talked about his progression as an artist and how far he has come from the release of ‘White Iverson’, which spiralled his career to where Post Malone is today. The set was full of sentiment and he navigated through some of his well-known hits. Closing the night on ‘Celebration’ the words echoed through the crowd and he gave his final exit by showing gratitude to the audience as he walked from one side of the crowd to the other with the audience chanting his name.

photo by lindsay melbourne

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