Live broadcast review: Glastonbury Fest 2021 a success despite technical difficulties
Glastonbury Fest 2021, Live at Worthy Farm, got off to a rough start–Thousands of people were confronted with an agonizing ‘invalid code’ in garish red letters as they attempted to access the stream. After an apology from festival organizer Emily Eavis, it resumed an hour and a half. The new link was free, but Wolf Alice, Michael Kiwanuka and George Ezra paid the price for wasted time as fans were closed on the login page. While this is a major setback, the technical difficulties haven’t tarnished Worthy Farm’s skilled camera angles, detailed settings, and gorgeous sprawling scenes.
The stream resumed just in time for IDLES, as part of Joe Rush’s “Carhenge” workshop. They embraced their industrial, dystopian backdrop of broken down cars and machinery. The only sources of illumination were bright orange and purple stage lights and sparks from a welder.–wearing no face shield, just black sunglasses. Each member of the group turned inward towards each other in a circle, without a physical crowd, as there was no one to turn their back on.
The hilarious riot “Never fight a man with a perm” portrays the violence of small town pubs while making people want to struggle. During “Anxiety,” a mechanical dinosaur bared its teeth and drops of sweat ran down Joe Talbot’s clenched forehead. Random flashing lights mimicked that of an anxious heartbeat as he feverishly shouted the lyrics. During the cathartic brutalist track “Mother”, guitarist Mark Bowen couldn’t deny the music that ran through him.–he struggled and stomped to the beat.
For the last song of the set, Talbot ironically took the time to say thank you, in a very authentic way. “This whole ensemble is dedicated to all the musicians and crew who could not work during this time without any support network,” he said. “We are eternally grateful to our audience and the people around us who have worked so hard to keep us employed in this industry. And more importantly, for people who couldn’t. Thank you very much for being here and we’re sorry that all of our friends couldn’t. Peace and love. Mic drop… Take the mic back for Danke… So Danke. ”
To say they went out with a bang is an understatement. Drummer Jon Beavis hacked his kit like absolute madman with his mouth wide open stuck in the smile position. The drone flew over a scrapyard littered with metal and cars in the idyllic countryside as the camera zoomed out.
A perfect transition into HAIM’s setting, the camera moved to Glastonbury’s Stone Circle stage, surrounded by seemingly endless expanses of green. A small group of spectators gathered along the treeline in the distance. The set consisted of songs featured on their latest album released in 2020, Women in Music Pt. III, which swings on contemporary pop with a touch of folk country. They debuted with “Summer Girl”, as shades of yellows and oranges glided across the sky. The relaxed independent track, mixed with the beautiful sunset, felt like a clear reminder that summer is just a jump and a jump.
“We are delighted to be here at Glastonbury, our favorite festival in the whole world,” said lead singer Danielle Haim. The three Haim sisters, dressed in leather jackets, had a distinct personality that shone through their choice of instrument. During “Don’t Wanna”, Este stomped her big wedge boot on her bass strings, invoking her iconic “bass face”, while Alana pounded the song’s beating heart on the drums.
The sisters joined their hands to walk to a smaller sub-stage for the poppier track “Now I’m In It”. Changing it, Danielle and Alana jumped on the keys, and Este stayed on her trusty bass. The ensemble’s last song, “I Know Alone,” blended a dark combination of electronic pop and acoustics.
The bare bones of the Pyramid stage glowed purple, and a sea of twinkling lights replaced lighters and phone flashlights in a massive crowd. “It’s the first time we’ve played in front of a crowd of cows,” joked Chris Martin, frontman of Coldplay.
Playing their first festival in the past five years, Coldplay made a notable comeback with the most flashy set of the night, featuring fireworks shows and smoke machines. The ensemble opened with their new lead single on their ninth studio album, “Higher Power,” a daring and upbeat song that comes to life live. They also released a new song, “Human Heart,” where Martin did a duet with American rock band We Are KING.
“If there was a day you didn’t want to stay in a field, it’s today,” Martin said, as the group was drenched in rain. In their short 30-minute set, they performed everything their great classic hits: “The scientist”, “Viva la Vida,“” Clocks “and”Fix you.”
By contrast, back on the Stone Circle stage with a quiet full moon hanging over his head, Damon Albarn exhibited a softer side to his set. In his famous sunglasses, even at night, he surprised fans with his new haircut–a shaggy mule. Going aimlessly from much-loved Gorillaz hits, to sparkling solo singles and haunting takes to Blur songs, he began his set with a more recent track, “The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows”. Smoke crept around him as he sang the piano, and a string quartet bellowed in the background.
As Albarn presented a heart-wrenching cover of “The Poison Tree” from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, he honored the memory of former drummer Tony Allen. “The last time I was here I played with The Good, The Bad & The Queen, and sadly since then magnificent drummer Tony Allen has passed away,” Albarn said, pausing for a sudden inspiration. “And I thought this song, [it] is really appropriate for him as a keepsake, and really for everyone’s “Tony”, because everyone felt some kind of loss during that time. So it’s for everyone’s Tony.
What followed was an intimate acoustic version of Gorillaz’s hit “Melancholy Hill”, pumped up violin and courageous guitar turning the popular song into a kind of sweet lullaby. Blur classics “Out of Time” and “This is a Low” concluded her career-spanning set.
Shot in the clearing, Jorja Smith’s set looked like a fairytale scene. In front of a large tree adorned with changing color lights, it sparkled in the spotlight.
Amidst calculated R&B ballads like the opening opener “Blue Lights” and reggae-tinged “Come Over”, “On My Mind” kicked up the energy, which no doubt would have bounced a crowd in person. . His moving melodies among hip-hop rhythms blend together, sweet and rich as honey. “Home”, taken from his latest album, was also performed in Raw Happiness. I’ll be right back, released May 14. Stripped instrumentals have given way to its impressive range.
Enny and Amia Brave joined Smith for ‘Peng Black Girls’, the highlight of her set, exuding confidence and intelligent flow. She ended the show with the pop song “Be Honest”.
Just hours before the start of the Glastonbury live broadcast, Thom Yorke announced the emergence of a new band, The Smile, comprising Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood, Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner and , of course, Yorke himself. For their first performance at Glastonbury, the dark tracks, while heavenly, did not bring a smile due to their cheerful atmosphere. Yorke quickly addressed this question, albeit with a sense of ambiguity: “Ladies and gentlemen, our name is The Smile. Not the smile like in ‘aaah!’ but no longer the smile of the guy who lies to you every day, ”he says. In fact, the name takes after the title of a poem by Ted Hughes.
Performing from a circular wood-paneled hall, with airy parachutes as a ceiling, they opened with a reformed version (“Skating on the Surface”) of an unreleased track by Radiohead, “Skirting on the Surface”. The tracks to follow could have been an extension of an experimental Radiohead album, reduced to just three members. The stars of the show were Yorke’s gently drifting falsetto and mesmerizing guitar and synth spirals. The post-punk track “You Will Never Work in Television Again” offered a solid contrast to the more airy tracks like “The Smoke”. The eight-song ensemble ended on a more upbeat note with “We Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings,” showing a more pop side to the new band.
Despite three artists cut off from the initial stream and a downpour of rain, the cinematic qualities of the festival were alluring. The typical five-day event managed to condense his talent into just five hours, doing what he does best–embracing accomplished acts of kinds across the spectrum.
Define the list:
Never fight a man with a perm
Kill them with kindness
I do not want
I was depressed
Now i’m inside
I know alone
Viva la Vida
Human Heart (with We Are KING)
A sky full of stars
The closer the fountain, the purer the streams
Royal blue in the morning
Lonely Press Play
The Poison Tree (cover of The Good, The Bad & The Queen)
On Melancholy Hill (Gorillaz cover)
Carousel in the light
Out of Time (fuzzy cover)
This is a weak (fuzzy coverage)
In my thoughts
Peng Black Girls (ENNY blanket with ENNY)
Skate on the surface
You will never work on TV again
Just the eyes and the mouth
We don’t know what tomorrow has in store
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat