Biffy Clyro at Reading Festival was awesome. Here's what we learned watching their all-conquering headline set.
BIFFY HAVE BROUGHT A HEFTY AMOUNT OF STUFF WITH THEM
With massive video screens, dazzling lasers, Metallica-esque ramps and a massive multi-layered cube contraption surrounding them, this is quite the stage show. However this visual spectacle is just a nice bonus to the real spectacle, which is the band's performance.
THE SETLIST IS OUTRAGEOUS
Biffy Clyro don't do bad albums, and now they have seven to choose from. Anyone who needs to pop to the toilet at any point is out of luck, as this is a set without a dull second in sight.
New songs like 'Re-Arrange' and 'Animal Style' are welcome additions to their set, while elsewhere they can go from huge hits like 'Black Chandelier' straight into 'That Golden Rule' like it's nothing.
THEY SOUND EPIC
The word 'epic' gets thrown around so much these days, but Biffy Clyro's set tonight is epic in the truest sense of the world. They sound massive tonight, and it's marvellous such a small unit can make such a glorious noise.
THEY BUCK THE TRENDS OF MANY HEADLINE ACTS
Some rock bands can be guilty of taking it easier as they settle into their headline sets. Not this lot, quite the opposite in fact.
When they dip deep into their back catalogue to play '57', they deliver it harder, faster and heavier than they ever have.
IT'S AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR
Perhaps the reason this band have become so successful is the emotion that's conveyed in their songs. Tonight, Simon Neil's words make you feel like the band have rocked up at your living room and whipped their shirts off for a set.
The likes of 'Mountains' and 'The Captain' are the definition of life-affirming, while songs like 'Folding Stars' and 'Machines' remain some of the most beautiful and affecting rock songs out there and make more than a few people reaching for the tissues this evening.
THIS BAND HAVE A NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE
"We have achieved so much more than you possibly thought we could," sings Simon Neil on set opener 'Wolves Of Winter'. Tonight, it feels like Biffy Clyro have come to terms with the fact that they're a massive band, and they're now very much comfortable with it.
Simon laughs, smiles and jokes between songs, and is clearly having the time of his life. As he climbs the ramps and stands centre stage during 'Who's Got A Match?', this once-reluctant rock star looks like a god amongst men.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT SET FOR BIFFY CLYRO
This festival has played an integral part in the Biffy Clyro story. With them gradually climbing up the bill through years of hard work, it's safe to say Reading holds a special place for this band. Tonight feels just as special as their last headline set, but for different reasons.
This is Biffy Clyro cementing their place at the top of the tree, and proving that they belong in the headline set and on the strength of tonight - long may that continue.