United Kingdom | 28 June 2009
Bruce Springsteen played a mammoth 160-minute set to close the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival yesterday (Saturday) after being graced an extra 10 minutes by Michael Eavis.
Opening with an acoustic cover of Joe Strummer And The Mescarleos’ ‘Coma Girl’, The Boss had certainly done his homework on the event after his manager had allegedly said “Glaston-what?” when the Eavis’ asked The Boss to play.
“If it ain’t curfew time, what time is it?” Springsteen asked the crowd, “It’s Boss time.” The E Street Band joined him on stage for ‘Badlands’ with Bruce’s energy nothing short of infectious, constantly hurling himself as he ran offstage.
There were quieter, more solemn moments with ‘The Ghost Of Tom Joad’ and folk cover ‘Hard Times’ to match the bombast of ‘Born To Run’ and ‘No Surrender’, on which The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon joined Springsteen on vocals, returning the favour from earlier on the day when Bruce played with the band on The Park Stage.
By the time ‘Glory Days’ and a joyous ‘Dancing In The Dark’ closed the set (and left Michael Eavis some £3000 lighter in the pocket for running curfew) Springsteen had the whole crowd eating out of his hands, for the Eavis’ and Glastonbury Festival, he was well worth the wait.
Earlier in the day Kasabian took to the stage with guitarist Serge wearing a leopard-skin jacket and singer Tom Meighan with a strawberry on his back. Old hits ‘Processed Beats’, ‘Shoot The Runner’ and ‘Empire’ are aired early, leaving half an hour until they aired a new track – ‘Where Did The Love Go?’. A triumphant ‘Doberman’ and singalong ‘Fire’ confirmed the band’s status as premier rock performers, but they lacked the edge to make it a classic.
Up on The Park Stage it was down to an ethereal Bon Iver to elegantly bring the stage to a close relying heavily on their debut ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. To a sea of seated fans the Canadian group shimmered through tracks like ‘Lump Sum’, ‘Skinny Love’ and an elegant version of ‘Wolves I/II’ and despite the drummer being out of time at the beginning of the set, this is bound to be a true highlight of the event.
With erstwhile member Neil Young stealing the show on Friday night, it was down to former band mates Crosby, Stills And Nash to shine with a set rich with harmonies and solos. The band covered ‘Ruby’ by The Rolling Stones before Crosby defined their jobs to the crowd, “Nash brings the fantastic rock and roll, Stills write anthems – and I write the weird shit.”
It took Glade headliners Stereo MC's just three songs before the smoke came down to the strains of Rob B unmistakable intro to 'Connected' which blasts through as the smoke clears. "We've come up from south London in a van to feel the Glastonbury vibe, and we're not mucking about we're going to give it 165% if that's possible." Mixing classic hits 'Deep Down and Dirty' with tracks like 'Get On It' go some way to that figure. Their thumping set was brilliantly delivered, and when Rob B asked the crowd if they want more noise, a resounding yes is catered for by the sound-man. 'Step It Up' is awesome and does just that as the internal organ liquifying bass is likely to still present today.
Meanwhile at Avalon, the searing heat from Trash City’s fire show washed over The Wonderstuff’s enthusiastic crowd. “I’m not going to scare you with ‘here’s songs from our new album’,” grinned Miles Hunt and true to his word the setlist was plucked almost entirely from ‘Eight Legged Groove Machine’ and ‘Hup’. ‘Red Berry Joy Town’, ‘It’s Your Money I’m After’ and ‘Cartoon Boyfriend’ all drew huge cheers from their opening chords to their closing notes and for indie kids of a certain age, this proved a perfect end to a perfect day at a perfect festival.
Definitely one for the romantics and the blues lovers, M Ward played a charming set to a sparse Park Stage crowd. The singer songwriter was a mellow precurser for Bon Iver and his Americana did have the feeling of filler, but great beer swilling entertainment.
Dizzee Rascal was the latest artist to pay tribute to Michael Jackson during his Pyramid Stage set performing a medley of ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’. ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ were ever popular and a cover of ‘That’s Not My Name’ by The Ting Tings showed his humour, but it was his rabble-rousing bravado that stood out most.
Schlomo brought the Park Stage, the house and the sun down at once with the help of a number of illustrious guests. The master of vocal remixes, along with his Vocal Orchestra, went through Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder and Massive Attack all getting aired. Imogen Heap and Jarvis Cocker are among the special guests joining in as well as DJ Yoda who held the fort at a man vs machine battle. Even comedian Marcus Brigstocke got in on the act during his remarkable show.
Klaxons returned to Glastonbury as Special Guests on The Park Stage, which, after being announced earlier in the week, meant it was hardly a surprise. All dressed in costumes – Beetlejuice and Edward Scissor Hands included – the band went through hits like ‘Golden Skans’ and ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ as most made for other stages.
High-pitched reggae legend Horace Andy took to the Park Stage for a sunshine set in a caramel suit and within minutes he got the sun-shaded crowd to their feet. “We stand for rights and justice,” he told the hoards before playing ‘Money Money People’, but the best reaction was saved for ‘Skylarking’ after which the audience needed to sit back down.
Apart from the occasional stamped foot and nodded head, Passion Pit found it hard in the three-quarters filled John Peel Stage. “This is our first time at Glastonbury, we’ve brought our boots,” exclaimed singer Michael Angelakos but in all honesty, they need not have bothered, ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ and ‘Sleepyhead’ offered little respite during a subdued set.
Glastonbury Festival 2009 continues today with Blur, The Prodigy and Echo And The Bunnymen.
Click here to watch BBC Glastonbury Festival highlights on Virtual Festivals.