U2 22:00, Friday, The Pyramid Stage
After missing Glastonbury in 2010 when frontman Bono was forced to have surgery the band told fans to “watch this space” to see if they would return in 2011. Fans of U2 got what they wanted as the group were announced to headline the Friday in 2011.
Despite the Mud and downpour over the previous few days and the rain throughout their set nothing was going to take anything away from a year overdue set. The band took the stage to a great ovation which left U2 in no doubt the Glastonbury fans were as excited to see Bono and The Edge as the band were to be there.
They opened their set with a trio of songs from Achtung Baby starting with “Even Better Than The Real Thing”, the band owning the stage with a big presence and making up for lost time with their first ever Glasto appearance in their 35 years career. An acapella version of “Jerusalem” from Bono was proudly sung along to by the crowd before they brought out one of their biggest crowd pleasers in “Where The Streets Have No Name”.
Bono and the rest of the group were noticeably overwhelmed and very appreciative of such a huge opportunity and delivered in a big way. The one negative point for me the very poor vocal sound which the band couldn’t really be blamed for. Bono also noted how it was a shame they were playing at the same time as Primal Scream as they would have liked to have seen them.
They swept aside a mini protest over taxes by powering through a greatest hits set including “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “With Or Without you” and “Beautiful Day” which was like an emphatic two fingers up to the weather from the crowd. The audience were entranced by what they were watching and their interested never waned as they were up and moving in the Rain to foot tappers “Elevation”, “Get On Your Boots” and “Vertigo”.
Interestingly they performed snippets of a few covers such as “Independent Women”, “Movin On Up” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” but most intriguing they sparked up a huge sing-along to “Yellow” giving a respectful nod to Saturdays headliners Coldplay. This was a triumphant moment in the history of U2. [4.0/5.0]