Wireless 2012 festival review

'There's not much that can derail Wireless 2012'

Wireless 2012 festival review

Rhian Daly - 09 July 2012

Another summer, another attempt by the great British weather to turn a festival into a complete wash out. But despite some on-off rain and Hyde Park looking more like Glastonbury come the end of Sunday, there’s not much that can derail Wireless 2012.

Friday gets off to a slow start with some less than impressive sets from Zeds Dead (3/10) and Afrojack (4/10) but luckily MS Dynamite’s on hand to kick start the weekend with a high octane set of garage and grime (9/10). Over on the main stage, The Roots (7/10) bring a more classic kind of party vibe with covers and a touch of funk but soon headliner Deadmau5 (5/10) ends their good work with a dragging set, the most impressive part of which is the visuals and lights. As an already half deserted field begins to empty out, the atmosphere wanes and a lot is left to be desired.

Luckily, Saturday gets off to a much better start with rising duo Alunageorge (8/10) bringing the sweet R&B of ‘You Know You Like It’ to the Barclaycard Unwind stage. With only a 20 minute set, they’re over and done in an instant but not without getting everyone present warmed up for a brilliant second day.

Later on the main stage, Wiz Khalifa (7/10) draws a huge crowd, all of whom go crazy when he drops ‘Black And Yellow’ whilst the excitement for The Weeknd (9/10) reaches fever pitch long before he’s ready to take the stage. When he finally arrives at the Pepsi Max tent, it’s well worth the wait, putting in a sublime performance that marks him out as an artist with the potential to become as successful as those he associates with.

Back on the main stage, Nicki Minaj (5/10) is running fashionably late but when she appears, we’re left wishing she’d not bothered. Starting songs only to stop them 30 seconds later and move on quickly becomes grating and it’s only the full length versions of ‘Beez In The Trap’, ‘Starships’ and closer ‘Super Bass’ that save her set from being a complete disaster.

Thankfully, Saturday’s headliner is so far from that eventuality, with Canadian rapper Drake (10/10) topping the bill. There’s little to fault with his performance, which includes guest appearances from Minaj and The Weeknd, plus some incredible versions of tracks like ‘Headlines’ and ‘Take Care’.

Sunday sees the arrival of another hotly tipped rapper in the form of A$AP Rocky (9/10), who gets the whole of the Pepsi Max tent bouncing to ‘Peso’ before there’s a mad dash over to the main stage to catch a glimpse of the rather impressive J Cole (7/10). Back in the tent, French electro DJ Madeon (7/10) makes it feel like we’re in the middle of a nightclub rather than in a park in the middle of London with a set that mixes his own tracks with those of The Killers, Daft Punk and Madonna.

Less fun is US rapper Kreayshawn (4/10), who pales in comparison to some of the other talent on the bill, like Theophilius London (8/10), who starts his set off with some groove-laden R&B before switching things up to some hard-hitting hip-hop. On the main stage, the anticipation’s building for Rihanna but first Jessie J (9/10) puts on a brilliant show, even inviting one lucky fan on stage to sing ‘Price Tag’ with her.

Then it’s time for the main event and final show of the weekend. Egyptian themed backdrop behind her, Rihanna (10/10) pulls out all the stops to make her set one of the best of the festival with pumped up versions of ‘Only Girl (In The World)’, ‘Cheers (Drink To That)’ and ‘Hard’. When she reinterprets ‘You Da One’ to be about London, she’s got the crowd wrapped round her finger and come the spectacular finale of ‘We Found Love’, complete with ticker tape and fireworks, everyone’s dancing and jumping in the sea of mud that’s taken over Hyde Park. It’s a perfect end to a fun weekend - roll on Wireless 2013.


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