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Glastonbury 2002: Culture Clash! - Faithless Vs Coldplay

28 June 2002

A sensitive acoustic band with a propensity for the melancholic following Britain's best dance act, known for their explosive and uplifting live performances? Where else but Glastonbury?...

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

It wouldn't have mattered if you had never been a huge fan of Faithless.  If you'd never seen them live and never bought any of their stuff.  When they kicked off their set on the Pyramid Stage at 21.20 Friday night there must have been plenty of people who didn't go to see them for those very reasons.  And they really missed out.

You didn't have to be anywhere near the stage to be able to see a writhing mass of energy spilling out over the field.  It was one enormous creature made up of tens of thousands of bodies all pulsating with the electrifying vibe that was filling the air.  The rush was incredible as you got nearer and nearer, until you were physically sucked into the beast and became a part of it.  The view was unbelievable.  People for as far as the eye could see and beyond, moving like maniacs in the supernatural light of dusk, with the sloping hills of Glastonbury silhouetted in the back drop.

It was genius to stage Faithless' set in the twilight zone for this was a truly paranormal experience.  Anybody looking for a natural high need go no further than this.  From anywhere further back than the first fifty yards, Maxi Jazz and compatriots were no more than stick men on a stage but the energy they created stretched to the outermost perimeters of the crowd.  Even the tiredest body could not resist the penetrating euphoria which was like a surge of vigour manifesting itself in leaping around like an idiot to Insomnia, unaware of the ironic fact that many probably could have fallen asleep in the middle of nuclear war, they were so exhausted.

Set over, the crowd went wild.  Faces lit by flares in the ground were testament to the rhapsody that had just taken place.  Encores were demanded as the crowd became restless, not knowing what to do with the power swell they were experiencing.  And they didn't have to wait long to find an outlet. Faithless took the stage once more to reach fever pitch with God is a DJ, with Maxi Jazz' trademark jumping, arms outstretched, fuelling the fire that was out of control. His geniune thanks to the crowd was evidence that the artist/fan relationship had morphed into a collective experience that bridged the gap in sensational style.  If you didn't have a Church already, you'd be a convert to this one.

Many would have argued that Faithless were merely the warm up act to the main treat of the day: Coldplay's headlining set.  Widely speculated to be one of those golden moments in festival history where something cataclysmic takes place, meant that the majority of the crowd that Faithless had left near orgasmic waited at the Pyramid to witness the gig that they hoped would mean in years to come they could say 'I was there when Coldplay played.'

Enter Coldplay... 



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