Rapper's set also included a stage invasion
Kanye West ended his headlining performance at Glastonbury tonight (June 27) by proclaiming himself the “greatest living rock star in the world.”
The Chicago rapper performed a nearly two hour set on the Pyramid Stage, playing tracks from throughout his career as well as a short cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
A controversial choice for the festival’s Saturday night slot, Paddy Power had been offering odds of 2/1 that West would be booed off the Pyramid Stage. However, the reception was overwhelmingly rapturous as Kanye began the show to a huge crowd. Bathed in smoke and light, he kick-started the set with the tracks ‘Stronger’, ‘Power’ and ‘Niggas In Paris’.
Dressed in ripped denim jeans and jacket, the rapper ran through something close to a greatest hits set and performed two songs raised higher than the point of the Pyramid Stage after climbing into a cherry-picker crane next to the stage. West performed on a simple but high-tech stage which featured a bank of lights that were raised, lowered and tilted at varying points in the set.
A man made his way onto the stage at the very start of the set and was immediately tackled by security and removed, causing West to restart ‘Black Skinhead’. The man has since been identified as comedian Simon Brodkin, aka comedian Lee Nelson.
Running through material from his back catalogue, West introduced ‘Theraflu’ with a clip of MOP’s ‘Cold As Ice’. Energy levels among audience members dropped noticeably during a cover of Chief Keef’s ‘Don’t Like’, but the crowd was won back with ‘New Slaves’, ‘Blood On The Leaves’ and ‘Heartless’.
A pink flare lit up the sky above thousands of fans as acoustic guitars marked the introduction of ‘FourFiveSeconds’, and the lack of both Paul McCartney and Rihanna for that song suggested that there would be no guests during the set, but Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) was revealed to be providing backing vocals when smoke cleared during ‘Lost In America’ and ‘Can’t Hold My Liquor’. Vernon, dressed in black t-shirt and baseball cap with headphones on, was introduced by West as “one of the baddest white boys on the planet.”
Speaking about ‘Lost In America’, West added: “When I was working on [2010 album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’] I was trying to explain to this girl how much I loved her. I wrote her an email that said “You’re my heaven, you’re my hell” and she ended up being my wife.” Referencing Kim Kardashian he added “She’s here tonight,” to huge cheers.
After running through hits including ‘Jesus Walks’ and ‘Bound 2’, West climbed onto a crane next to the stage after playing a brief ‘Touch The Sky’ intro, making extra emphasis on the “top of the world” line. He returned to play the song properly once he’d been raised in the air and stayed up top for ‘All Of The Lights’.
Having returned to the stage from the crane, West ended his main set with ‘Good Life’. A brief pause was broken by West introducing the encore with a karaoke-style rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. “Give it up for the lighting crew and my creative team, Donda,” West commanded before leaving the stage. He then went on to make the most eye grabbing statement of the night, proclaiming himself to be “the greatest living rockstar on the planet.
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“I only have seven minutes left,” West said, to cheers from the crowd, before ending the set with ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘All Falls Down’. The 90-minute set ended with West throwing his microphone and drink to the ground and saying: “I love y’all.”
Kanye West played:
‘Niggas In Paris’
‘Don’t Like’ (Chief Keef cover)
‘Blood On The Leaves’
‘Four Five Seconds’
‘Woods’ (Bon Iver cover)
‘Lost In The World’
‘Handle my Liquor’
‘No Church In The Wild’
‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone’
‘Touch The Sky’
‘All Of The Lights’
‘Touch The Sky’
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Queen cover)
‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’
‘All Falls Down’
GALLERY: a glimpse backstage at Glastonbury 2015