The Glastonbury festival starts this week, and to get you excited, we’re looking back at five of its best performances in recent years. Some of the most famous acts in the world have played the English festival, and knowing the significance of the event, they come with their absolute best. In these performances, we see artists who absolutely commanded the crowd, giving festival-goers something to remember for the rest of their lives.
Jay Z, “Wonderwall” / “99 Problems”
When Jay Z was announced as the headliner at Glastonbury in 2008, Noel Gallagher of Oasis groused at the notion, complaining that the festival was supposed to be for rock, not hip-hop. Hov got his revenge by beginning his set with a gloriously off-key rendition of “Wonderwall,” which the crowd gleefully sang along to. He then went into “99 Problems,” and he would remark later in the set, “My name is Jay Z, and I’m pretty f*cking awesome!” No one in the crowd seemed to disagree.
Radiohead, “Karma Police” / “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”
Radiohead appeared for a surprise gig at the 2010 festival. They closed their set with two of their most beloved songs, “Karma Police” and “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” The crowd was fully engaged, giving us the amusing site of thousands of people singing about someone’s Hitler hairdo making them feel ill. Despite “Street Spirit” being one of Radiohead’s sadder songs (and that’s really saying something), you can feel the joy as the crowd sings along to a song they’d memorized the lyrics to years ago.