“Tonight ladies and gentlemen you’ve got George Ezra off his head on anti-inflammatories,” the young singer-songsongwriter says, explaining why he’ll be perched on a stool for the entirety of the evening. “Yesterday, I thought I’d go out for my annual run…and the next thing I know I was laying on the floor and I had rolled my ankle.” But not one to let a little ankle injury deter him from fulfilling his duties as Saturday headliner at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival, the show must go on, and so into ‘Barcelona’ he went.
Anyone who has seen Ezra live before knows not to expect anything too extravagant. More a pack of biscuits and a good cup of tea than sex, drugs and rock and roll, he’s Mr. Nice Guy – and it’s apparent that it’s because of this that he’s as big as he is. And although he’s not going to win an Oscar anytime soon for his onstage monologues about going traveling and staying at Tamara’s, the Isle of Wight crowd were into it all the same.
Sat on a stool for his entire @IsleOfWightFest set, @george_ezra hurt his ankle running on the previous day. Here he is admitting to being on a lot of pain medication – “You’ve got George Ezra off his head on anti- inflammatories.” pic.twitter.com/NWqCxYLv2D
— ill Will (@officialillwill) June 15, 2019
Very much aware of the importance of his headline slot, Ezra tells the crowd: “I’m well aware that this is the famous Isle of Wight that has had artists like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell. I know this.” And so on the 50th anniversary of Dylan’s famous performance at the festival, where he played to around 200,000 people back in 1969, Ezra rolls back the years and delivers his own rendition of ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’. Bringing his injury back into the conversation, jokingly he says, “He had a motorbike crash and here I am with a rolled ankle,” referring to the time Dylan crashed his 500cc Triumph Tiger motorcycle.
— ill Will (@officialillwill) June 16, 2019
Weaving in and out of tracks like ‘Hold My Girl’, ‘Did You Hear the Rain’, and ’Pretty Shining People’, Ezra’s ability to incite mass singalong’s among men, women and children is not to be underestimated. His brand of inoffensive pop is designed for festival headline slots like this. If anyone was sitting on the fence before tonight, after hearing ‘Budapest’ and ‘Shotgun’ live in the flesh and witnessing firsthand the joy they bring, those same people are now camped out on Ezra’s side of the fence, cocktail in hand and wondering why it took them so long to convert.
The old adage says that nice guys finish last, but with the help of some fireworks, confetti, a few jokes and some pretty fine songs, Ezra did a little better than that.
George Ezra’s setlist was:
‘Don’t Matter Now’
‘Pretty Shining People’
‘Listen to the Man’
‘Did You Hear the Rain’
‘Hold My Girl’
‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ (Bob Dylan cover)
‘All My Love’
‘Blame it on Me’