They opened the festival for me and seemed just as bemused as I was to find them on the Pyramid Stage. They work better on a smaller stage and warranted, they did play later on in the festival somewhere else in a more intimate setting. It took them a few songs to warm up and get the crowd going, as their sound got a bit lost amongst it, but with a mixture of old and new material, they provided a punchy first performance and a nice mid-day snack.
Two Door Cinema Club
Being able to tell that a performance means so much to a band is always touching. Alex Trimble appeared humbled and claimed that he had dreamed of performing on the Pyramid stage since he was 10 years old (I was making post offices out of lego at that age). Personally, a lot of their songs blur into one and are VERY similar, but it's not really a bad thing, because they're catchy and energetic and if the formula works...repeat.
Watching Bright Eyes made me realise how little of Bright Eyes I've actually listened to. I don't think Conor Oberst gave a fuck about playing recognisable material...or a fuck about anything really, he was wearing a cape which I think confirms that. We arrived late, but I would've liked some First Day of My Life or Lua. The performance didn't do much for me, but that's more my fault for being uneducated. My friend noted that he looked like a young Severus Snape which was spot on.
It would be more difficult not to see Jamie xx at a festival this summer than it would be to see a tiny pixie. He is the one to watch at the moment...and so I watched him. He kept it fairly original and didn't whack out any of the more well known remixes, such as rolling in the deep or you've got the love, but his set was bounceable and fun and definitely should not have been at 7 p.m. However, he shook the tent and got everyone shuffling and I'd like to watch him again in a far more inebriated state.
Oh Friendly Fires, the things you do to me. Such a sick set; that was my 5th time of seeing them and they only get better over time, like cheese. I'd been listening to their new album, Pala, religiously for about a month before, so I was pretty clued up on their new stuff, but the old was just as a fresh as always. If you don't tap your toes to this music or respond through the medium of dance.. then you're clinically dead. Hawaiin Air was insane and ACTUAL hawaiin dancing girls appeared and shook their booties. Friendly Fires brought the sun.
Laura Marling has the remarkable talent of seemingly being able to make a whole crowd of people feel simultaneously awkward, but it is her shyness that makes her so endearing and enchanting. By this time, the sun was taking the piss and showing off..people were slumped on the ground and mostly enjoying Marling from the comfort of their own patch of mud. However, it was really refreshing to see her playing to such a large crowd, but still keeping the intimate aspects of her gigs intact.
Foster the People
This wasn't a planned jaunt, cos we were actually hyped for Cults...but for reasons unknown (and definitely unknown by creepy stewards) they weren't there and consequently I was a bit dismayed. But we referred to the Bible (band guide necklace) and made an executive decision to watch Foster the People instead. They turned out to be really good; not knowing many of their songs wasn't a problem and they exuded massive stage presence and I can really envisage them on the Pyramid in a couple of years. They used a cow bell also, bonus points.
The Go! Team
Fantastically great. The band exploded on the stage with an unhealthy amount of energy and put on an awesome show. Everyone was clearly getting their groove on and they acted as a perfect build-up towards you know who.
'Tonight, we are all rockstars!' Don't think I need to write anything, you must have seen it and if you haven't then come out of your cave at once. Beyonce absolutely killed it and eclipsed U2 and Coldplay and cemented herself as the superstar we all know she is. There was talk of special guests, but what Michelle Williams could've offered, apart from nostalgia, is debatable. Perfectly paced, as she strutted on stage and launched into Crazy in Love, with hair as big as...I'm struggled to think of anything as big. With some clever covers in there, such as Sex on Fire and a medley of Destinys Child hits, the crowd were putty in her hands; adoring and awing. My favourite, was a take on the classic Etta James number, 'At Last', which I've now decided will be my wedding song, so smooth and sexy; Beyonce previously sang this at Obama's inauguration and so he appeared on the screens to vivacious roars, somehow I just don't think there would've been the same reaction if Alesha Dixon had David Cameron's mug beaming out to thousands. Beyonce's all about empowerment and the fact that she was the first female headliner in 40 years, in itself is epic. Whether you agree with her headlining or not, you can't deny it was a magic set, Beyonce showing off her immense talent as a vocalist and shaking her booty, no amount of fireworks or dancers could've distracted the overwhelmed crowd. One question though, Tricky anyone?
Photo courtesy of Tasha Hall