Drummer Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins during the band’s set at New Orleans Jazz Festival, after replacing the Foo Fighters headline slot.
Reading Festival: The Academic
The first band on today and it was your first show in 500 days?
Craig: 533 days to be exact.
How was it to come back?
Matt: It was truly great. We don’t want to overuse the word surreal but that’s how it felt. We’ve been away for so long that it was a huge rush of adrenaline to play, that feeling of holy shit we’re doing this again.
Craig: It felt really good and the crowd were incredible, I saw some moshing going on. And we vibe so much off the crowd, so to see them really enjoying it was amazing
I think seeing that an artist who genuinely looks like they’re enjoying themselves on stage makes you enjoy it more as a crowd member.
Craig: Yeah and I think it’s important, a lot of my favourite artists do that kind of thing and it makes it more special to you as a fan. That they’re reacting to the moment, rather than they’ve turned up and are playing a perfected, rehearsed show.
Matt: I feel like we have tried to be that kind of band in the past and it just doesn’t work for us because there’s always an element of chaos to our shows. And that’s what I love about our gigs. Today had everything in that for me and it felt very comfortable which was extremely nice.
I’ve heard that Ireland right now is still in full lockdown, how does it feel to go from that to Reading Festival?
Matt: It’s simultaneously amazing and really frustrating because over here you guys are ploughing ahead, and gigs are back and everyone is vaccinated. And in Ireland, the vaccination rate is the fastest and highest in Europe, but still, our events industry is the last one to come back, it’s ridiculous you know. I think we have an 87% vaccination rate but no gigs.
Craig: It’s a weird one because there are so many people whose livelihood is a right state, but our politicians are making an absolute balls-up of the situation.
Finally, after two years of us all sitting around our computers, watching live streams, desperately trying to recreate that festival feeling, The Great Escape is back and ready to take over Brighton. For 4 days in May, music lovers, industry experts, and artists from all around the world will decent on the seaside town, ready to explore the 30+ walkable venues and discover some incredible new bands.
Today, Abbey Road Studios, the world’s most famous recording studio, announces the inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2022 in association with Hennessy – the first-ever awards to celebrate the art of music photography.