T In The Park 2010: Top Main Stage Bands and The Best Of The Rest
Gavin McInally details the top Main Stage bands and picks out the best of the rest
Photographer:Al De Perez
Gavin McInally - 12 July 2010
Eminem – 9/10
Rap’s biggest star is forty-five minutes late, he calls the Balado crowd “Edin-burg” for the entire night and all his tunes have his own backing vocals pumped through the PA which means he doesn't even need to have the mic at his lips for parts of the choruses he can't be fussed with.
So, it's difficult to work out why seeing Slim Shady is such a standout moment at T In The Park.
Perhaps it's because he doesn't walk onto the stage, he comes up through it.
Or even while most artists have a selection of singles, Eminem has an arsenal – each tune welcomed like a classic, with the real classics 'Stan', 'Cleaning Out My Closet' and 'Like Toys Soldiers' causing hysteria – and many are shortened to fit in the near-30 track performance.
During the one-song encore 'Lose Yourself', the reformed hip-hop megastar proves he's absolutely untouchable when he's got his game face on.
Muse – 9/10
They might not have been allowed the health and safety unfriendly UFO but at times during Muse's headline show on the opening they are out of this world.
Kicking-off with a double-whammy of 'Uprising' and 'Supermassive Black Hole' the Devon trio hardly stop for breath.
And if any band wants a lesson on how to punch into an encore, a YouTube lesson of Muse tearing into 'Plug In Baby' should do just fine.
Jay-Z – 9/10
Every bit the headliner he should be billed as, the New York rap giant attracts so many fans on Sunday night, bins are kicked over to make temporary platforms and scaffolding which secure signage is used by revellers desperate to catch Jay-Z in action.
With a stunning stage set-up, a massive sound and tunes like '99 Problems' and 'Big Pimpin'' up his sleeve, the American icon doesn't even need to break his stride to pull off one of the best shows of the weekend.
The sing-a-long to 'Empire State Of Mind' is an instant “I was there” moment while closer Numb/Encore is a fitting tribute to a knockout set.
Kasabian – 8/10
The English indie/rockers can't follow Jay-Z, sound difficulties and a relatively sparse crowd don't help.
But luckily for Kasabian, who have worked their way up the stages at previous T line-ups, have enough swagger and cool-as-fuck tunes to just about pull their closing headline showing off.
Paolo Nutini - 8/10
It's difficult to manage anything but a smile when Paisley crooner Paolo Nutini takes to the stage.
The talented yet down-to-earth young Scot still looks like he's surprised anyone's watching him and his infectious tunes overshadow the gloomy weather on Saturday evening.
Trusted hits 'New Shoes' and 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' are a joy but it's MGMT cover 'Time To Pretend' which is a pleasant surprise.
Biffy Clyro - 7/10
Their ninth showing at T In The Park and from the reaction the Scottish rockers get from the masses, no one grudges them their prestigious slot on the country's biggest stage.
The set-list is far too chart friendly to be a real highlight with plodding numbers like 'Who's Got A Match?', 'Mountains' and awful 'The Captain' being favoured over old classics but it's hard to blame the Ayrshire boys as that's the only tracks the vast majority crowd recognize.
Over on the NME/Radio One Stage:
Jamie T - 8/10
You always know what you get with Jamie T, and it's always a great result.
Since grabbing everyone's imagination with the catchy 'Sheila' a few years back, the Cockney rhythmer has been something of a mini revelation in the music world.
At T he seems to always find an appreciative crowd and T 2010 was no different.
With new album 'Kings and Queens' released earlier this year, Jamie stormed through a stomping set mixing his previous hits of 'If You Got the Money' and 'Calm Down Dearest' from last album 'Panic Prevention' with newbies 'Emily's Heart' and closer 'Sticks and Stones' – quickly becoming crowd pleasers.
Florence and The Machine - 7/10
You couldn't miss her wailing voice anywhere, and that certainly was the case at T.
Florence Welch has become something of an icon in recent times, men fancy her while women...well, they probably fancy her as well.
But it's her music that has taken the world by storm. With her flowing red locks she battered through her hour-long set on Friday like it would be her last time on stage.
'Dog Days Are Over' was always going to be a hit here, but it was 'Drumming Song' that really brings out the best of her soulful style.
A sure fire hit for a surprisingly healthy crowd considering Faithless were on the Friday's Main Stage.
The Prodigy - 9/10
How long can these guys go on for producing this level of carnage on a stage?
Keith Flint and his band of nutty men left the Radio 1 crowd in puddles of sweat after one of the most energetic displays that T has ever seen.
For an hour and a half these boys went crazy, casually flinging anthems such as 'Firestarter', 'Breathe' and 'Poison' in among newbie 'Invaders Must Die'.
Their only problem seemed to be half the population of Scotland wanted to see Eminem on the Main Stage.
But as Flint himself said: “If you're not here, you're not fucking anywhere.”
The Black Keys - 8/10
Ohio duo The Black Keys were not appreciated at T on Saturday.
However what the Keys' lacked in crowd numbers they certainly made up for in Bluesy rock.
Definitely one to check out should they hit a club near you any time in the future.
Airbourne - 7/10
A band who come from Australia and who produce the same riff-led music but who are adamant they're nothing like AC/DC certainly deserve a mention.
Probably a tad unfair on the Aussie's, although they did come complete with flowing locks and an uncanny choice to perform without any upper clothing.
If 'Highway to Hell', 'Back in Black' or even the instantly recognizable ' 'You Shook Me All Night Long' were pumped form the speakers you would struggle to tell the difference.
Hey, it didn't do AC/DC any harm, did it?
And keeping the King Tut's Wah Wah tent packed to capacity:
Headliners Calvin Harris – 8/10, Mumford and Sons – 9/10, and David Guetta – 9/10 do the King Tut's Tent proud on their respective nights with all three producing sets fitting of their billing.
With the carnage outside Guetta's performance as fans push over a security fence to catch a glimpse of the dance super-producer he looks likely to be booked for a bigger stage next time around.
Selkirk rockers Frightened Rabbit - 9/10 put on a career best showing as they reveal it's their “best day ever”, Kate Nash - 7/10 doesn't sulk about her low billing and instead stamps on her keyboard to round off a rousing set and surprisingly 3OH!3 - 7/10 are actually quite fun with their blend of disposable electro-pop.