With a fairly anonymous opening to his conclusive IoW set, Sir Paul McCartney was in grave danger of allowing himself to be overshadowed by the antics of earlier acts as the final day of this epic weekend offered some real theatre.
Just about holding on to his battered crown, Macca produced a strong two-hour hit fest, which included ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Back In The USSR’, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’, topped off with fireworks and enough na na na na’s ringing into the smoky night to last a lifetime.
Perhaps haunted by his own former brilliance, the small matter of being in arguably the best band of all time, Sir Paul’s relatively unknown solo releases seemed almost flat at points.
The weekend’s second tribute to Jimi Hendrix came halfway through, injecting a bit of life into an otherwise standard set as the band digressed into a funky ‘Foxy Lady’ medley.
Ever the showman McCartney offered some 60s folklore, reminiscing on when he use to hang out with Hendrix. It was all very cool and groovy apparently. At this point it seemed to dawn on the crowd that they were indeed in the presence of rock royalty, and although you may get a more exciting show from The Strokes, Julian Casablancas just can’t offer this kind of gold.
Pink had stunned the main stage just an hour before with possibly the biggest show of the festival. When your entrance involves jumping from a giant toy box elevated by a crane 50ft above the stage the show can only go one way. Launching straight into ‘Get The Party Started’, she really meant every word.
The anthemic anti-love song ‘Just Like a Pill’ took off, with almost unanimous participation from the crowd. ‘Sober’ continued the theme until things were slowed down a little with a rousing ballad and a change of outfit.
A consummate show-woman this performance really demonstrated how many strings to her bow Pink has. Switching from acrobatics and stomping pop-punk belters to acoustic strumming and the intimate political ballad ‘Dear Mr. President’ it was clear that a few more twists were yet to come.
Perhaps a little lost on some of the less pop-orientated festival-goers, Pink’s ultimate triumph was the introduction of her writing partner, and best bud, Butch Walker who bounded on to the stage with a screeching guitar solo that Download festival would have been proud of. A mix of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ and ‘Basket Case’ by Green Day, the duet trading vocal duties, was followed by a quirky cover of ‘Roxanne’.
Flying out across the crowd on a series of wires, elevated just feet above the heads of her adoring public, and launching herself over said faces in an inflatable zorb ball seemed all in a days work for the American singer who has often been cited as “the world’s most underrated superstar.”
As the final chords of Pink’s theatrical extravaganza rang out in the distance the national treasure that is Steve Craddock smashed out the infamous riff of ‘Riverboat Song’ to a thundering applause as The Big Top enjoyed a sterling performance from 90s Brit-pop outfit Ocean Colour Scene.
A fully suited and booted Tony Hadley fronted Spandau Ballet earlier in the day, offering some 80s sing-a-long gold (no pun intended) to accompany a breezy afternoon at the picturesque Seaclose Park, with Friendly Fires, Editors and The Courteeners providing steady indie sets just after lunchtime.
Check back for our full review of the Isle of Wight Festival 2010.
By Gareth Vipers.