Glastonbury 2017 Day 2 Highlights: Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher & More
The Foo Fighters made up for lost time with an explosive headline performance at Glastonbury 2017 on Saturday (June 24).
The band had been due to headline the festival in 2015 but had to cancel when frontman Dave Grohl broke his leg at a show in Gothenburg, Sweden, just days before -- leaving Florence and the Machine to step up the bill.
“I’m about two years late tonight, I’m sorry. Traffic was a bitch,” quipped the 48-year-old singer, clad entirely in black, at the start of an explosive, hit laden two-and-a-bit hour set spanning the group’s back catalogue and beginning with a rousing solo rendition of 2003’s “Times Like These,” which Florence Welch had performed in the absent band’s honor in 2015.
“I watched that show on my laptop as I was sitting in a wheelchair with a broken leg and it looked beautiful,” Grohl told the audience, praising Welch for playing the song “way better than we’ve ever played a Foo Fighters song.”
“So I thought I’d come out here tonight and sing that song back to Florence,” he said. After the song, Grohl’s band mates joined him onstage and jumped straight into thundering versions of “All My Life” and “Learn To Fly.”
Other highlights of the band’s high energy, crowd pleasing set included “The Pretender,” “Best Of You,” “Monkey Wrench,” “My Hero,” “Walk” (“dedicated to my plastic surgeon... for making me look older,” joked Grohl) -- all of which were transformed into huge communal sing-alongs by the tightly-packed crowd -- and a cover of Queen and David Bowie’s 1981 collaboration “Under Pressure,” sung with gusto by drummer Taylor Hawkins as Grohl stepped behind the drum kit.
At one point, Grohl, who was on characteristically buoyant and chatty form throughout, led the crowd through a jovial one-word ditty that served no purpose other than to beat Adele’s record for the most times a headline act has said the word “f---k.” He almost certainly achieved his aim.
The band closed their set with a furiously thrashed take of “Everlong” accompanied by a huge fireworks display.
Day two of the festival began in slightly less bombastic fashion with a light drizzle of rain covering the site as the Bootleg Beatles, dressed in Sgt. Pepper’s period costume, opened the Pyramid Stage with a feel good run tribute to the Beatles’ eight album, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, backed by the Pepperland Sinfonia.
By early afternoon, the sunshine was tentatively peeping through the crowds as Thundercat brought his languid expressive jazz funk to the West Holts stage to an appreciative head-nodding crowd.
Over on the Pyramid stage, Katy Perry -- making her first appearance at Glastonbury -- brought some Californian pop glamour to Worthy Farm, emerging from behind a shimmering backdrop dressed in a silver crystal catsuit and purple cap and backpack combination, and delivering a fun and energetic run through her greatest hits and not so great new album, Witness, which recently entered the U.K. charts at No. 6.
“This makes me feel cool,” Perry told the audience, adding, “I didn’t know if you still liked me?” The answer, at least from those who’d made their way to the front of the stage earlier hours earlier, was an overwhelming yes, with renditions of “I Kissed A Girl,” “California Girls,” “Firework” and “Dark Horse” among the standout moments. The hour-long set concluded with Perry diving head first into the crowd as yellow confetti rained down.
Katy Perry crowd surfing at Glastonbury is my favourite thing ---- pic.twitter.com/LywdbRRveF— Jodie Packwood (@jodiepackwood) June 24, 2017
At the same time as Perry was performing on the Pyramid Stage, Liam Gallagher took to the Other stage and delighted the assembled masses with a spirited run through Oasis’ back catalogue (“Rock N Roll Star,” “Slide Away,” “Be Here Now”) and several songs from his forthcoming solo debut, As You Were. Gallagher closed his set with a moving version of “Don’t Look Back In Anger” (the first ever time the singer has performed the traditionally Noel Gallagher sung single) dedicated to the victims of the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, and 79 people who have died in the Grenfall tower fire tragedy.
British grime star Stormzy also paid tribute to those that lost their lives and called for “the authorities to tell the truth... do something and be held accountable” for the blaze, while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a heart-shaped Grenfell logo. The rapper -- who delivered a powerful, stirring and at times poignant grime set -- also led the crowd in a chant of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn,” to the tune of White Stripes “Seven Nation Army,” which has become an unlikely anthem of this year’s festival, regularly bellowed out across the site throughout the weekend.
Labour leader Corbyn returned the almost unanimous support by appearing on the Pyramid Stage ahead of Run The Jewels to make a well-received political speech that was also broadcast on the neighbouring Other Stage, such was the demand to see him. A large crowd later congregated at the Leftfield Stage to hear the MP speak.
Continuing the political theme was The National, whose singer Matt Berlinger encouraged the crowd to call Republican senator Rob Portman and oppose the health bill that President Trump is trying to pass. “He’s a good guy. He’s a Republican, but he has backbone, integrity and character,” Berlinger told the audience, placing his phone showing Portman’s contact details in front of the TV cameras.
Glastonbury concludes Sunday with performances by Ed Sheeran, Biffy Clyro, former Bee Gee Barry Gibb, and Justice.