We make our way over to the Radio 1/NME stage to catch Michigan post hardcore 5 piece La Dispute, and for a band essentially with a ‘cult’ status and fan base around them, are greeted to a reasonably sized crowd before them. The mystery and intrigue around the innovative storytellers has grabbed the curiosity of many of this years festival goers. As we walk in and look upon the stage and then the adjacent video screens we see that frontman Jordan Dreyer has a bloodied nose and mouth area, presumably being over zealous with the microphone.
The band sound tight and play well however they look slightly awkward up on this stage and remain fairly static and rooted throughout their set. But not Jordan, he shifts and shakes and delivers a ferociously beautiful telling of ‘Hudsonville, MI 1956’ and ‘a Letter’. The crowd looks on still with curiosity and politely applauds in-between songs, however with each song the applause gets louder and louder as the band win over fans. The awkwardness on stage is still apparent even with this humbling experience growing, but we guess thats all about their charm and appeal. Everyone sways and some close eyes as they get lost in the poetic short stories that the band excel in, especially during ‘The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit’.
Touché Amore vocalist Jeremy Bolm joins the band for a song greeted to gleeful cheers and what happens next is a cathartic release for all involved ending with a hug between Jeremy and Jordan and the audience knowing they’ve witnessed one of the most organic and wonderful moments of recent Reading Festival times. As with Hacktivist we believe the band would’ve been more suited to playing in a smaller tent where the energy levels and crowd participation would’ve been tenfold and made for a more personal experience that this band strive to deliver.