Glastonbury 2011: Day 2 Roundup

By on Monday, 4th July 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Saturday’s opener were the Gaslight Anthem who, while only having played Pilton Farm once before, made one hell of an impression when they did. None other than The Boss himself joined the New Jersey boys on stage to power through their anthem ‘The 59 Sound’ before he hit the Pyramid Stage to headline 2 years ago. The Gaslight Anthem this time around were gracing the Pyramid Stage and at first they looked like they were a little overawed by it all. Who can blame them when you have upwards of 10,000 people staring at you? However, the band got into their stride and delivered a formidable set dripping with hooks and old fashioned riffs. No Boss this time though, however there are signs of a band on the up.

Next on my hit list was the big story of 2010, Mr. Tinie Tempah, armed with arguably the biggest single of last year (the infectious club anthem ‘Pass Out’) and a set list of songs that most of the UK will be familiar with. Tinie is the next in line of hip hop stars gracing the Pyramid Stage after Jay-Z’s monumental set in 2008 and Dizzee Rascal’s triumphs in previous years, hip hop looks set for a bright future at Glastonbury. First sing-along ‘Wonderman’ is a tad weak though and ‘Invincible’ is not much better in all honesty. However Tinie is saved by the slick, sexy Labrinth-infused rhymes of hit ‘Frisky’ and ‘Pass Out.’

Rushing over to the Other Stage I was able to catch veteran punks Jimmy Eat World as they blasted through a back catalogue of hits. ‘Bleed American’ sounded utterly epic in the setting and set the tone for a gig which this stage was made for: fist-pumping was rife and the choruses were as infectious as they ever have been. However, it is hit single ‘The Middle’ which provokes the mass sing-along and shows Jimmy Eat World at their anthemic best. A clinically underrated band that pull out all the stops live, any day, any way.

It was to my misfortune though that Paolo Nutini was on when I arrived back at the Pyramid Stage. It isn’t enough that he is noticeably stoned and drunk on stage and staggers about with all the swagger you would expect of a taller Cher Lloyd. Hits such as ‘Pencil Full Of Lead’ and ‘New Shoes’ grated on the ear as expected and his set went on for much too long. Little else I can say about this man’s set. Yes, the brass band backing is cool, I enjoyed that. Nutini himself though did exactly what expected, irritated and enraged me to the point that only a mass sing-along of truly epic proportions would take me from the edge.

Thank the lord then that Elbow were on next. Guy Garvey and co. came out to rapturous applause and flew into opener ‘The Birds’. However, it wasn’t until ‘The Bones of You’ was played that the crowd really came to their side. Garvey though was the king of the show, getting the crowd on his side at any opportunity possible, whether it was by downing a pint in true Manchester styling or whether it was with a terrific backwards Mexican wave, which from looking out from the Pyramid stage must have looked truly majestic for the Mancunian 5-piece. ‘Grounds For Divorce’ was played out with the kind of power you just don’t get from any other frontman and band, while ‘Open Arms’ was buoyed by two giant blow-up men each side of the stage. There were no guesses though as to which song they played out with; ‘One Day like This’ truly was the perfect song to go out on.

Coldplay’s headline set had to be something special then to follow the sheer brilliance of Elbow, but when you see Coldplay (pictured at top), you never expect anything less than brilliance. If U2 turned up with their A game the night before, Coldplay were A+++. Sure they opened with a new song, but what is wrong with taking a chance when you headline Glastonbury. Kings of Leon did it and Jay-Z opened with ‘Wonderwall’, so it seems truly monumental Glastonbury shows open like this. Chris Martin was from the start of the show until the end at his buoyant, if not a little self-deprecating best, whether he was hammering out ‘Clocks’ from behind the piano, or acting like the true frontman he is with a guitar at the front of the Pyramid Stage. ‘Viva La Vida’ was truly majestic but it was the encore of ‘Fix You’ where everyone on the crowd could truly realise that Coldplay are as brilliant as ever and look set to be for a long, long time.

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