Tonight Alive have come a long way. Obviously there’s the literal miles the Australian five-piece have travelled to get to Reading Festival today but that’s just being silly. Over the past eight years the band have been on a journey, bookmarking each step with a record. This year’s ‘Limitless’ felt like an arrival, a destination finally reached and while it’s taken a little longer for the rest of the world to catch up, today at Reading Festival everyone’s on the same page.
Tonight Alive have never sounded better and backed by a fully-realised stage show, it’s a striking performance. From the opening ‘To Be Free’, there’s a connection between band and audience. More than simple call-and-response, everyone present feeds off one another, creating a powerful environment you can feel at your very core. “At a Tonight Alive show, you’re not just accepted. You’re celebrated,” explains Jenna, hitting the point home. “Celebrate yourselves.”
As shocking as the ‘Limitless’ Era was at first, today it all makes sense. Every chapter in Tonight Alive’s history gets a space to shine and sits alongside the rest of their tale in perfect harmony. There’s not many frontpeople who can snarl and stomp across the front of the stage before sitting cross-legged at the edge and make it look so effortless but Jenna has really come into her own. The rest of the band aren’t far behind though as Jake, Whakaio and Cam are constantly engaged with the crowd and even Matt makes it out from behind the drum kit to take part. Everyone is present.
Their show is polished but the control, free-flowing as Tonight Alive are truly untethered, unchained and free. They’ve finally understood their place and their power. Today’s set is a solid burst of glittering emotion and inspiration and the cry of “My reality, my fucking expectation,” is one that’ll stay with people for a long time to come.