This weekend, we’re ‘on the ground’ at Reading 2022. Featuring some of the biggest and most exciting bands and artists on the planet, alongside the buzziest new acts, we’ll be bringing you coverage of everything you need to know. That includes photos of all the key sets, including these snaps of Fontaines D.C., who took to the Main Stage East on Saturday (27th August).
Walk-on music by The Doors blasts out of the main stage speakers as Fontaines D.C. stride out for their set, blasting straight into a punishing wall of sound which causes mosh pits to erupt within seconds. By the time the opening notes of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ ring out, a sea of people are screaming along. It’s been a meteoric rise for the band, who were playing pub rooms and support slots just a few years ago, but they’ve evolved as a live act with remarkable ease. Grian paces the stage, slamming his mic stand on the ground as he belts out cuts from across their three albums.
Debut ‘Dogrel’ gets surprisingly little attention, with the set leaning heavily on new album ‘Skinty Fia’. It proves that they’re a band only just hitting their stride, with ‘Jackie Down The Line’ greeted with the hysteria normally reserved for a big breakthrough single. One first album cut that does get an airing is ‘Boys in the Better Land’. Pulling a crowd member up to play guitar is a risky decision that plays off handsomely. As the grinning new addition, Dexter, walks off stage at the end of the song, Grian turns to the crowd and says, “he’s only 16!” with complete disbelief.
Final track ‘I Love You’ prompts a mass singalong, with a sea of people on each other’s shoulders as the band wave goodbye. An early evening slot when everyone is waiting for Arctic Monkeys could easily fall flat, but Fontaines turn it into a triumph.