Shout out to Sam Fender with Yard Act and bring out the dancers to open the main stage at Reading 2023

Yard Act opened the main stage at Reading 2023 today (Friday 25 August), paying tribute to Sam Fender as well as broadcasting some amazing choreography. See photos, images and more below.

As many gathered on BBC Radio 1’s Dance Stage to watch Bombay Bicycle Club’s surprise secret performance, Yard Act drew a huge crowd to open the East Main Stage.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the stage, from a newly gentrified northern suburb of Leeds, the one, the only, Yard Act,” said frontman James Smith, introducing the first song, “Dead Horse,” which led directly into “Dark Days” before a climactic moment and the first mass chant of “Payday.”

Dedicating ‘Pour Out’ to “anyone who’s ever gotten off their feet just to see what’s going on”, Smith then invited the crowd to raise their hands for the show’s first “audience participation”.

Another highlight was the recent single “Trench Coat Museum”, which featured amazing choreography by Smith and dancers that the audience thought was a failure.

Noting the honor of playing the southern equivalent of his hometown festival in Leeds (“It’s basically the same, but in a car park in Reading,” Smith spoke of R&L as “a field full of people who want to let loose” and told the crowd to make the most of their time here with “the people they care about”.

After an emotional ride from the existential ‘100% Endurance’, Smith greeted the headliner of the night and asked the audience to “scream for Sam Fender, scream for the Yard Act, scream for life.”

“Being a modern 33-year-old man is fucking hard work,” he concluded before closing ecstatically with ‘The Overload’, which invited a huge pit on the left side of the stage.

The day continues with performances by Wet Leg, Bicep, Loyle Carner, Foals and many more.

Come back to NME here for the latest Reading & Leeds 2023 news, reviews, interviews, photos and more.

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