Halsey closed out the west-side main stage at this year’s Reading Festival last night (August 28), delivering a stack of hits from across their four-album catalogue, declaring the UK to be their favourite region to perform in, and eliciting a rather unique chant from the packed-out crowd.

READ MORE: The story of Reading & Leeds 2022 – in glorious photos

The show was particularly notable for riding on the heels of Halsey’s turbulent appearance at Leeds Festival on Friday (August 27); during that set, they were forced to stop performing midway through their rendition of ‘Honey’ due to illness. They later revealed that they’d performed the set with “terrible food poisoning” and “felt like [they were] on Jupiter the whole time”.

Halsey was in tip-top shape for their appearance at Reading, though. Early in the set, they addressed Friday’s whirlwind and assured fans that they’d be in for something special. “Man, I was fucked up, and not in a good way,” they said of their Leeds situation. “So that means I’m coming here tonight with all of the energy that I had originally planned for two nights – I’m bringing it for one.

“I’ve got all this pent-up energy in my body. Now you guys in the first 50 rows or so, you did fucking absolutely amazing just then. But you guys all the way to the back, I can fucking see you too, it’s bright as hell up here! Now this is a long show, and I promise you it’s not going to be what you’re expecting, so I need to test you right now and see what kind of energy you have.”

Later in their set, Halsey gave an impassioned speech about the unique dedication of UK crowds, defiantly stating: “I think every artist, whether they’ll admit it or not, their favourite place to play is in the UK. And I’m gonna get in trouble for saying that right now – there’s gonna be a lot of other people who are really pissed off that I just said that – but it’s true.”

They went on to explain that while crowds in other regions tend to “act like they’re going to see a movie or something”, those in the UK are “just so unbelievably immersed in the idea that going to a show is a fucking action” because “the show is not just me, the show is that person to the left of you or to the right of you, or that fucking dickhead 10 feet behind you, or that really cute girl 20 feet to the right of you.

“And that’s what makes it so fun, right? It’s because I get on stage and I know that a show here is 50 per cent me and 50 per cent you.”

Halsey was also quick to point out that their Reading set came just one day after the first anniversary of last year’s ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ album, and how “since the last time I’ve been here, a lot has changed” – particularly in regards to the fact that they now have a child.

“I think a lot of people thought that… I don’t know, maybe after I had my kid, I was gonna get really boring or something,” they continued. “Nah, I feel like it was the opposite. I feel like having a kid made me just not really take myself so seriously anymore, and not give so much of a fuck, you know?”

Immediately, punters in the crowd began to cheer “MILF” at Halsey, to which they responded: I can’t wait for that BBC headline tomorrow – ‘Halsey graces Reading stage to chants of ‘MILF’ from the audience’.”

Finally, in closing their set out with ‘Power’ favourite ‘I Am Not A Woman, I’m A God’, Halsey hopped off the stage to sing in tandem with their audience. Have a look at some more fan-shot footage from that moment, as well as some other highlights – including the soon-to-be iconic “MILF” speech – below:

i love you @halsey best headliner ever pic.twitter.com/ax82mfVe9d

— MORGAN (@UNDONIGHTMARE) August 28, 2022

Honey @halsey Reading festival
ig: @/seanejaywells pic.twitter.com/wxMBeAESJj

— elif halsey ♡ So Good (@halseydaisyy) August 28, 2022

HALSEY SPEECH pic.twitter.com/YjePlZQ6Ke

— MORGAN (@UNDONIGHTMARE) August 28, 2022

PART 2 OF HALSEYS SPEECH READING pic.twitter.com/kHTui9Zt37

— MORGAN (@UNDONIGHTMARE) August 28, 2022

Without Me pic.twitter.com/7hf7rzKUQJ

— MORGAN (@UNDONIGHTMARE) August 28, 2022

Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, photos, interviews and more from Reading & Leeds 2022.

The post Watch Halsey perform from the crowd, receive “MILF” chant at Reading Festival 2022 appeared first on NME.

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