The festival site had been thrown into chaos following heavy rain and severe flooding earlier in the week (June 21), but Noah And The Whale charmed a large Main Stage crowd with a bright, positive set with the band’s Urby Whale defying the mud in a white suit. Frontman Charlie Fink celebrated the turn in the festival’s weather fortune by dedicating ‘Blue Skies’ to “this incredible thing above us, it looks amazing”, and a closing trio of ‘Tonight’s The Kind Of Night’, ‘5 Years Time’ and ‘LIFEGOESON’ left spirits well and truly lifted.
Next up on the main stage, meanwhile, was Example. After opening with ‘Stay Awake’ and ‘See The Sea’, he worked the crowd up, asking “Where’s the fucking lunatics at?”. “What rain, what mud, what traffic?” he demanded mid-set. “If you’re here to see another band and not me that’s fair enough, let’s all try and enjoy ourselves.” Circle pits formed in the crowd on Example’s request during ‘Playing In The Shadows’ and he seemed pleased with the results, beaming “How fun is this?” during a euphoric ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’.
Lana Del Rey also appeared confident during her Big Top set, with her voice in good form. Opening with ‘Blue Jeans’ she looked comfortable and in control of the stage despite a packed-tight tent, while ‘Born To Die’, ‘Summertime Sadness’ and ‘Without You’ also made an appearance. During ‘Video Games’ Del Rey gave the crowd a wide smile after the “and baby, now you do” line before ending on an impressive vocal flourish. “Fuck yes, that was so good,” she enthused, before closing her set with ‘National Anthem’.
Elbow, who were the penultimate act on the Main Stage before headliners Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, put on an emotive show, with frontman Guy Garvey telling the crowd: “The light’s beginning to fade, the sun is going down – a whole world of magic and mysticism is opening up for you lot.” The Mancunian band’s set incorporated tracks including ‘The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver’, ‘Lippy Kids’, ‘Grounds For Divorce’, Leaders Of The Free World’, ‘Open Arms’ and a final impassioned verson of ‘One Day Like This’.
“I know I talk too much,” Garvey told the crowd, “but you can’t let them mess with festivals, because it’s the one weekend that everyone has to restore their faith in humanity.”
The festival continues today with performances from Pearl Jam, Biffy Clyro and Magnetic Man. You can watch NME‘s video guide to the seven must-see bands at Isle Of Wight festival by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking.