What happened when Bring Me The Horizon surprised Reading Festival

It was the worst kept secret of the summer. Following in the footsteps of Queens Of The Stone Age last year, Bring Me The Horizon surprise practically nobody when they unleash their secret set on the full-capacity Radio 1 tent at Reading festival.

Following the release of Mantra earlier this week, BMTH are on the minds of almost every rock fan across the globe, and the new tune has obviously infected the psyche of Richfield Avenue, as the thousands of fans holler back every single word of the new single that opens the 40-minute set.

The entirety of the performance is taken from the band’s latest two records, seemingly leaving the heavy life behind in favour of bona fide festival anthems. The tent swells with the deafening din of Throne and Happy Song, last performed here on the main stage supporting Metallica in 2015.

It might not be the most metal or even the most rock‘n’roll crowd, but everyone here is devoted to the BMTH cause. Circle pitting to Drown, throwing down in the walls of death and filling the tent with grubby middle fingers for Antivist.

The band look elated to be back on stage after such a long break, relishing in the emotion and passion being hurled at them from the Reading crowd – one girl on the front row is in full-blown tears.

With a new album on the way and an arena tour scheduled for later this year, it’s unfathomable to think that Bring Me The Horizon aren’t on precision course to become one of the biggest bands on the planet. The songs are there and the crowds are as hungry for these anthems as ever before. Stick a bet on them to headline a festival in 2019. Their time is now.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.