The fuss surrounding Jay-Z’s performance at Glastonbury always seemed strange to me. For me the festival should be about seeing acts you wouldn’t expect to, about bands doing something different, about the weird & wonderful things that make music so fantastic.
Noel Gallagher’s comment that hip-hop was ‘wrong’ for Glastonbury pissed me off. I saw Public Enemy at Reading in the early 90s and it remains one of the best festival appearances I’ve ever seen, whilst other highlights have included Orbital & Roni Size, neither of them known for their guitar music, at Glastonbury. Nothing is ‘wrong’ for Glastonbury, except maybe tired old rockers who haven’t released a decent record this millennium.
Anyway, Jay-Z obviously wasn’t too bothered as he opened his performance at Glastonbury with a cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall, before slipping into a blasting rendition of 99 Problems. I’m
still watching now finished watching the performance on the iPlayer (which crashed more than Twitter on a bad day) but it looks to me like and he totally rocked. From dropping a snippet of Smack My Bitch Up before rapping over Amy Winehouse’s Rehab to proclaiming “For those of you that didn’t get the memo, my name’s Jay-Z & I’m pretty fu**ing awesome” to an amazing version of Mundian To Bach Ke, the track he originally did with Punjabi MC to the cheeky little slice of Estelle’s American Boy to his barn-storming penultimate tracks, a version of Heart Of The City using a sample of U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (the video below), he totally owned the stage.
It’s hard to tell without being there, but it looked to me like this will go down with other performances by Radiohead, Coldplay & Paul McCartney as one of the best Glastonbury sets ever.