Kanye gives de­fi­ant per­for­mance at Glastonbury

The China Post - - ARTS -

Kanye West gave a de­fi­ant per­for­mance at Glastonbury on Satur­day night, chal­leng­ing crit­ics who said he was un­suit­able for the event by declar­ing him­self the “great­est liv­ing rock star.”

The U.S. rap­per de­lighted many core fans with a 100-minute set on the Pyra­mid Stage that in­cluded big hits and new ma­te­rial, but did lit­tle to win over those fes­ti­val-go­ers who came along out of cu­rios­ity.

Wear­ing blue denim with a white splat­tered paint ef­fect, West spent most of the set alone on a bare stage un­der a ceil­ing of hun­dreds of pow­er­ful spot lights, although he took a trip above the stage in a crane for “Touch the Sky.”

“Thank you all for com­ing out tonight, thank you for com­ing to see me,” he said in a rare mo­ment of en­gage­ment with the crowd.

West’s per­for­mance opened with “Stronger” and closed with “Gold Dig­ger,” and in­cluded a guest ap­pear­ance by Justin Ver­non of folk band Bon Iver, who lurked in the shad­ows on the edge of the stage as the rap­per strode around.

At one point, West sang part of Queen’s “Bo­hemian Rhap­sody” — a bold move — be­fore declar­ing: “You are watch­ing the great­est liv­ing rock star on the planet!”

The de­ci­sion to give West the cov­eted Satur­day night slot caused con­tro­versy among fans of the fes­ti­val, which is bet­ter known for its rock and folk mu­sic, and 135,000 peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion to get him dropped.

Emily Eavis, Glastonbury’s coor­ga­nizer and daugh­ter of founder Michael Eavis, said she had even re­ceived death threats over the book­ing, but in­sisted that he was an artist “mak­ing the most ex­cit­ing mu­sic at the mo­ment.”

There was cer­tainly huge sup­port in the crowd for West, who re­peat­edly went silent to al­low the fans to sing along, and won cheers when he ded­i­cated one song to his wife Kim Kar­dashian, who was in the au­di­ence.

But the set was at times chaotic. Just min­utes in, an au­di­ence mem­ber, co­me­dian Lee Nel­son, jumped onto stage and had to be re­moved by se­cu­rity, while West stopped sev­eral songs to restart them.

Joshua, 26, said he was dis­ap­pointed. “I love all his stuff, but I found him crap tonight,” he told AFP.

“You’ve got to re­spect the crowd. His ego was out­side the Pyra­mid — he doesn’t un­der­stand Glastonbury.”

“I’ve never been in an au­di­ence more will­ing to love a head­liner and be so dis­ap­pointed,” wrote Times colum­nist Caitlin Moran on Twit­ter.

(Left) Kanye West per­forms on The Pyra­mid Stage at the Glastonbury Fes­ti­val, at Wor­thy Farm in Som­er­set, Eng­land, Satur­day, June 27.

(Right) A mu­sic lover watches Phar­rell Wil­liams dur­ing the Glastonbury Mu­sic Fes­ti­val on Satur­day.


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