The UK’s legendary Glastonbury festival is 45 years young and still surprising, surpassing and spellbinding. No words can truly explain the magic of this wonderful weekend held every June in the beautiful English west country surroundings. With over eight major stages and giant marquees, there are 80 other smaller stages including venues for poetry, comedy, theatre, circus, films, debates and lectures as well as music.
This year’s as-ever eclectic mix certainly delivered the goods. In the world of dance some big guns came a firing in the likes of deadmau5, The Chemical Brothers and Flying Lotus, all of whom brought the most amazing stage/light effect shows, especially the Brothers whose seemingly 3D images leapt out into the crazed audience, over their block-rocking classics.
Among the R&B/soul luminaries Mary J. Blige commanded the pyramid stage with an emotionally drenched set as the rain began to pour. The contrasting figures of Lionel Richie and Pharrell Williams surprisingly kept the attention of all ages in their droves. Kanye West was always going to divide the opinion of the masses from a Glastonbury crowd’s point of view — his lackluster performance assumed too much confidence and exuded a rather cold demeanor on such a massive stage.
The Foo Fighters’ headlining pyramid stage slot was filled by Florence and the Machine — they first played Glastonbury a few years ago in a tea tent in front of maybe one hundred people — who absolutely seized the moment and took the expectant crowd to an other level. Florence was preceded by the reunion of Brit rock rockers The Libertines, who delivered a nostalgic show with the odd nod back to their previous form.
Saturday afternoon over at the John Peel Stage saw an angst ridden double feature follow on of Slaves and the Sleaford Mods both bands lyrically shouting the odds about social commentary in a unique way Slaves defiantly punking it up.
Sunday evening mod rock festival closers Paul Weller and The Who brought some well anticipated vintage British rock to the proceedings. Weller runs through most of his solo classic hits and some of the wonderful Jam and does a brilliant job of winding up the 100,000 strong audience for the arrival of The Who with ages ranging from 16 to 60 and people wearing Kanye West to Metallica t-shirts the who swung into full flow with old favorites “Who Are You,” “The Seeker,” “Pictures of Lily,” “Behind Blue Eyes” and “My Generation,” it’s clear to see for any who fan that the strength and construction of the songs can and does endure the decades, and for a band that performed at the first legendary Woodstock, Isle of Wight and Monterey Pop Festivals, this was a fitting end to the festival for them and for us.
Images for Big Shot by Sharon Alboni