With scheduled headliners U2 out due to Bono’s back injury and the entire nation of England mourning their nation’s exit from the World Cup, Glastonbury — Britain’s biggest rock & roll blowout — still managed to thrill an audience of 150,000 fans in Somerset, England. Gorillaz recreated their latest disc Plastic Beach by bringing out Bobby Womack, De La Soul, the Fall’s Mark E. Smith and Lou Reed to reprise their guest spots. Snoop Dogg joined Damon Albarn’s band for the final song of the night, adding two fresh verses to “Clint Eastwood.”
Muse made sure U2 fans got at least a taste of what would have been — bringing out the Edge during their Saturday night headlining set for a cover of “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It wasn’t the only nod to the band over the weekend: Keane also paid tribute to Bono and Co. with a cover of “With or Without You” during their acoustic set.
But the biggest surprise was an entire unannounced solo set from Thom Yorke, who took the stage with a simple, “Hi, My name is Thomas Yorke” to perform tracks from The Eraser. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joined him for a killer five-song mini-set of Radiohead classics, including “Karma Police” and “Street Spirit (Fade Out),” AtEase reports.
Glastonbury’s final day coincided with England’s World Cup soccer match against Germany, and an estimated crowd of 50,000 gathered at a pair of festival fields to watch England’s 4-1 loss on huge screens. Ray Davies was among the artists who had the unenviable job of performing during the soccer match, but his set lifted the bummed crowd: he paid tribute to the Kinks’ founding bassist Pete Quaife, who passed away last week, dedicating “See My Friends” and two of Quaife’s favorite Village Green Preservation Society songs to the late bassist. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him,” Davies told the crowd.
Stevie Wonder capped the weekend with a set packed with hits and covers (the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out,” Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”). In celebration of the festival’s 40th anniversary, he wrapped things up appropriately, with a jubilant take on his version of “Happy Birthday.”