We missed Heartist due to the early doors and lack of information on the stage times. In fact by the time we walked over from Weatherspoons, Sylosis were a song or two into their very energetic set.
The gig was a sell-out and it seemed as if the majority of ticket-holders had made the effort to get there in time for Reading’s loudest export. Not surprising when you realise that for the ticket face value, you’re getting a headline-quality support.
Sylosis were great value for their position on the bill and had a huge number of the crowd hot and sweaty by the time they finished. Dedicating their wall of death to Jeff Hanneman (“If it wasn’t for him, we’d not be standing here”) was a nice touch.
Killswitch Engage marched on stage after a pleasingly brief set change and launched into a really good set. I’m not hugely familiar with their stuff, but what I have heard I do like.
As well as playing great songs very well, they’re top entertainers. There’s more to playing live, at least to a metal crowd, than just battering out songs. You’re in a privileged position to get a huge number of people bouncing, laughing, beating the crap out of each other… whatever.
KE’s secret weapon is Adam Dutkiewicz. Camper than a row of pink, frilly tents and with a sense of humour that would make Kunt & The Gang blush, he managed to make his bandmates giggle and stare anywhere than at the crowd in embarrassment on more than one occasion.
“We’d like to dedicate this one to all of your mom’s vaginas!” he proclaimed before one track, “Because that’s where you all came from!”
The band managed a set of around an hour and a quarter, with only a brief pause before an encore. Both support bands were off to one side playing drinking games during the set as well. Great to see a bunch of guys enjoying themselves so much, not just treating the whole thing as a job; or “our set’s finished, so that’s us done for the night.”
Given the standard of the live show, it’s no surprise that the show was a sell-out. Definitely a band I’d recommend you catch if you’ve not seen them before. If you have seen them before, you were probably there tonight…