U2 finally crown Glastonbury with headline set

Defiant Irish rockers beat rain and protests at Worthy Farm


Photographer:Sara Bowrey

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Chris Swindells | 25 June 2011

Due to play the festival last year the band had to cancel when Bono underwent emergency surgery on his back.

With a large stage set, including an additional two screens on either side of the stage the four piece played with cover versions throughout, including Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Women’.

In his traditional shades and leathers Bono also sang an acapella rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ before going into ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’.

Under heavy rain and wind swept conditions the Irish rock stalwarts went delved into their earlier material with ‘I Will Follow’ before the lead singer took the time to joke: “Sorry for phoning in sick last year.”

The band were clearly overwhelmed to have finally made it to Glastonbury after 35 years and paid special thanks to Michael Eavis and his family.

Referencing Primal Scream’s headline slot on The Other Stage, Bono went into a short version of ‘Movin On Up’ between ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ and ‘Stay (Far Away So Close)’.

Moving through their more recent hits ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Get On Your Boots’ the band played a condensed version of ‘She Loves You’.

By the time they came to play ‘Surrender’ in the latter third of the set the crowd was water soaked but eating out of their palms, finishing the chorus after the song had finished.

Coming back for a three-song encore the band went straight into ‘With Or Without You’ before taking a Union Jack and Irish flag from the crowd and laying them on stage for ‘Moment Of Surrender’.

Asking for the crowd to put their phones and lighters up the band went into an unexpected cover of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’.

With the set coming to a close the rock legends said their final thanks.

“You've made our whole career. Thank you for the life you've given us,” Bono said before leaving the Glastonbury 2011 crowd with the band’s first ever single ‘Out Of Control’ preluded with a snippet from 'Pretty Vacant'.


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