*ARTICLE BY THOMAS LYONS*
Performing her chart-topping singles ‘New Rules’ and ‘IDGAF’ as well as her collaboration tune with Calvin Harris ‘One Kiss’, the pop-sensation showed the packed Reading crowd how to party in style on Saturday.
Taking to the stage just after 5 o’clock, the 2018 Brit award-winning ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ didn’t break a sweat throughout and under the bright lights, made it look easy.
Making a powerful entrance to start with another banger in ‘Blow Your Mind’, it made for very energetic set which reciprocated from the 90,000 or so, onlookers. Opting for the checkered crop-top shirt and flamboyant nineties inspired trousers, the English songwriter made an instant impact.
Her support dancers and band added to the excellent display, beautifully performed and structured to fit the just short of half-hour segment.
As much as she’s a top vocalist, her instinct to perform for large crowds shows how much her career and profile has elevated in this past year.
Although the 23-year-old star is a product of YouTube, making music from the age of 14, she has adapted to the mainstream spotlight shone on her, given the opportunity to headline on massive shows across the globe.
With her second album in the works for 2019, featuring projects with icons such as Prince and Outkast as well bringing back some familiar faces such as MNEK, Mark Ronson and Silk City, the future looks bright for the Londoner.
Throughout the day, some stellar acts took to the stage with Panic! at the Disco & US hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar closing the show. Ex-Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda also paid an emotional and heart-wrenching tribute to the late Chester Bennington, who tragically died in his California home.
The honesty and humbling message projected by Shinoda on stage prior to his performance spoke openly of the hidden truths behind mental health and sent signals to the Reading faithful that if you find someone to communicate your struggles with, to speak up.
Meanwhile, Texan boyband BROCKHAMPTON brought crazy energy to the Radio 1 stage, that saw Rex Orange Country and Sigrid put together spine-tingling sets to the delight of their passionate supporters.