Another year has gone by and so too has another Reading Festival. This year’s festival was headlined by Kasabian, Eminem, Liam Gallagher, and closed out by Muse.
The Devon band had a special surprise for the Reading audience. AC/DC’s Brian Johnson came onto the main stage to join Muse for a cover of Back in Black. The appearance was particularly poignant as Johnson had retired last year due to hearing problems. Rolling Stone have speculated that this performance could signal the return of Johnson to AC/DC. Johnson had previously hinted that he might return last year after seeing an ear-technology specialist. He said “I was really moved and amazed to be able to hear music again like I haven’t heard for several years now.” After finishing the set with Muse, Johnson said: “that means a lot to me, thank you so much, thank you boys.”
Muse has a reputation in the music industry for holding dynamic live performances. In an interview with the Evening Standard lead singer Matt Bellamy admitted that when they first starting to headline at Glastonbury as well as Reading and Leeds, the band felt out of their depth. “We were daunted by these huge events as a live band, which felt out of scale with our general success and perception in the media.” Today the band consistently sell out stadiums across the globe.
Before they played at Leeds and Reading the band played an intimate charity gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. In an unusual move Muse let their fans choose the playlist. The fans chose many songs from their earlier back catalogue including songs that hadn’t been played live before. The gig was in aid of Passage, which is London’s largest volunteer resource centre for the homeless and vulnerable. The Irish Times reported that Bellamy said of Passage: “their work is vital to the community. We are looking forward to doing our bit to help the amazing staff and volunteers and the homeless people who benefit from their tireless hard work.”
Festivals are known for being the location for some of music’s most electric performances. Performers have become music legends from their festival sets, which are much rawer and more unpredictable than studio recordings. Radiox created a list of the 15 greatest festival performances that included sets from Glastonbury, Reading, and the U.S.. Muse, Oasis, and Jimi Hendrix’s iconic Woodstock performance were all included in the list.
Hendrix’s Woodstock rendition of The Star Spangled Banner has gone down in music lore as one of the greatest musical events of the 20th century. Hendrix has inspired generations of musicians and his presence can still be felt today. Hendrix’s brand is still earning millions even though it’s nearly been 50 years since his passing. Slingo’s Jimi Hendrix slot game is just one of the tributes to one of rock n’ rolls most loved figures that is keeping him relevant on a number of digital mediums. The iconography of the heart, peace symbol, and electric guitar are used in the game demonstrating that Hendrix’s unforgettable music still means so much to audiences today. No doubt due to his Woodstock performance. In the coming years, if Muse continue their ascent in becoming one of rock’s biggest bands, they could too be remembered for years through games as well as their iconic onstage performances.
Muse will finish the year off with tour dates in the USA, Japan, and Australia. For the Australian part of the tour Muse will be supported by British band Nothing But Thieves.