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Live Review

Heck make pandemonium look effortless at Reading

Posted: Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Bringing their trademark brand of chaos to Reading, Heck’s set is equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. There’s barely a moment when the four members share the stage. Frontman Matt Reynolds positions his microphone against the barrier, and spends the majority of the performance balancing above the audience’s heads – when he’s not diving into the crowd and screaming from the middle of a circle pit that is.

It’s anarchy for anarchy’s sake, cut loose and refusing to give a damn, the band and the audience throw themselves body first into the music. Sure, they might act fancy free, but the group couldn’t be more grateful to those present for indulging in the moment with them. “Make sure you give yourselves a round of applause,” Matt proclaims in a rare quiet moment between songs. “Without you, me and everyone on this stage would be working in a fucking supermarket.”

It’s a tiresome feat for event security: catching crowdsurfers and sending them on their merry way, and collecting mic stands and guitars as they make their way back to the front sans musician after being lost somewhere in the fray. One band member returns only for another to vault into the pit, stretching cables all the way to the back of the stage where he mounts the sound desk for further frenzied screams, and later throwing an equipment case atop the crowd before straddling it overhead – impressive feats by any standards, but Heck make pandemonium look effortless.