The Rolling Stones went back to basics – almost – as they finally headlined the UK’s legendary Glastonbury Festival for the first time.
There had been speculation all day on site about which special guests would join the band, with the likes of Adele and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine rumoured to be making an appearance. But in the end, only the band’s former guitarist Mick Taylor made one of his now-regular performances, playing on "Can’t You Hear Me Knocking," "Midnight Rambler" and the final encore of "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction." The band was similarly stripped of its usual stage set and some of its special effects, although a mechanical fire-breathing phoenix was unveiled during "Sympathy for the Devil," and the set concluded with a fireworks display.
There were plenty of special musical moments, however, as the Stones worked hard during a rare performance in front of a crowd not entirely composed of Stones diehards – although the gig did attract one of the biggest crowds ever seen at the Pyramid Stage.
Chief among the highlights was a new version of "Factory Girl," re-titled "Glastonbury Girl" and featuring new lyrics, including a reference to Primal Scream, the band that preceded the Stones on the Pyramid Stage. Mick Jagger, who has been camping on site – albeit in a luxury yurt – quipped that it had been inspired by a visit to Shangri-La, the festival’s notorious late-night party district.
There was also a rare recent setlist appearance for "2000 Light Years From Home," perhaps a nod to Glastonbury's hippie roots. The festival began in 1970 and the Stones have long been touted as headliners – although Jagger joked, "After all these years, they finally got round to asking us . . ." before the band launched into "Paint It Black."
The hit-packed, jam-heavy set also featured the Voce Chamber Choir and London Youth Choir on "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" and saw Keith Richards take the mic for "You Got the Silver" and "Happy."
The Stones’ next gig is in London’s Hyde Park on July 6th, which will be their first show there since Taylor’s first-ever gig with the band on July 5th, 1969. Their set tonight wrapped up Day Two of Glastonbury, which Arctic Monkeys headlined on Friday night, with Mumford & Sons due to conclude proceedings tomorrow. A full festival round-up will be on RollingStone.com on Monday.
"Jumpin’ Jack Flash"
"It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)"
"Paint It Black"
"Doom and Gloom"
"Can’t You Hear Me Knocking"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"You Got the Silver"
"2000 Light Years From Home"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"Start Me Up"
"You Can’t Always Get What You Want"
"(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction"