Glastonbury 2023 Highlights – Top Moments From Pilton: GNR, Elton John, Lewis Capaldi, Arctic Monkeys and Lana Del Rey
Britain’s well-known five-day Glastonbury festival was held in Pilton, Somerset, this year. It ran from Wednesday 21 June to Monday 26 June. Regarded as a major event in British culture, the festival is inspired by the ethos of the hippie, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the free-festival movement. The headliners for this yearincluded Elton John, Guns ‘N‘ Rosesand Arctic Monkeys, while many more artists were scheduled to appear across the weekend.
Sheffield indie rock heartthrobs kickstarted the festive weekend on Friday night
Arctic Monkeys headlined after fears for frontman Alex Turner, who was struck down by a bout of acute laryngitis just days before the band’s coveted slot on the main stage. Fortunately for fans, however, he recovered just in time. But while critic Jazz Monroe awarded the band’s performance five stars, others weren’t so convinced.
Those tuning in to watch the show on the BBC’s live stream accused the band of meddling with their most-loved songs, to the point that it was near-impossible to sing along. There were reports of restless audience members in the crowd, too, who later expressed their discontent on Twitter.
Some confused festival-goers complained as Alex and the group were criticised for slowing tracks down and making it hard for fans to sing along.
One wrote: “I’m sorry but I refuse to believe anyone enjoys watching Arctic Monkeys live. They sound so offbeat, slow and lazy. Amazing songs, but butchered on stage”.
“I love Arctic Monkeys but playing the older songs in this tone that Alex is so dead set on keeping is such a disgrace to the fans and those songs. Slower songs aren’t bad but you can’t play (ex.) R U Mine slow, it wasn’t made for that and that’s not why people liked it,” another reported.
Guns ‘N’ Roses, is as feisty as ever!
Guns N’ Roses, considered the hard rock renegades, blew up the Pyramid Stage with flair on Saturday. The band took the stage in their own fashion, delivering a three-hour set that combined their classics and some lesser-known gems.
Starting their performance at, Guns N’ Roses launched into the classic track “It’s So Easy” from their album “Appetite For Destruction.” Frontman Axl Rose, despite being at the age of 61, astounded the audience with his vocal performance while the guitarist Slash, renowned for his exceptional musical virtuosity, delivered a series of electrifying solos.
The set took a while to find its groove, featuring tracks like the title song from the band’s 2008 album “Chinese Democracy” and “Slither,” a single from Slash’s post-GNR side project Velvet Revolver. The famous riff of “Welcome To The Jungle” also echoed across the Pyramid Arena followed by a rendition of “Mr Brownstone.”
Guns N’ Roses made a powerful statement in support of Ukraine during their performance of “Civil War.” Rose sported the country’s flag on his t-shirt, while footage of war-torn homes illuminated the screens.
As the performance drew to a close, the band invited Dave Grohl onto the stage, stating, “because you can never have too many guitars.” This followed a frenzied encore of “Paradise City” featuring Grohl.
Lana Del Rey struggled to complete her set after an unforeseen delay
Artist Lana Del Rey was scheduled for the Other Stage at 10;30; however, her arrival was at least thirty minutes past her designated slot, which considerably disrupted the proceedings. Compounding the situation further, the power was unexpectedly cut off at midnight, due to which Del Rey could not perform her arguably biggest and most renowned hit, “Video Games.”
Commencing her performance after the aforementioned delay, Del Rey delivered her set with a lyrical approach and a high-quality visual experience. This included ballet dancers and contortionists across the stage. Her setlist featured songs from her latest album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard,” including “A&W,” “Young and Beautiful,” “Bartender,” and “Pretty When You Cry.”
Furthermore, Del Rey gave a rendition of “Ultraviolence,” a track from her 2014 album of the same name. Despite rumours suggesting she would omit the controversial line “he hit me and it felt like a kiss” from her live performances, she included it in her delivery, stirring conversation among attendees.
Addressing the audience, Del Rey said “I’m so f**king annoyed that we have to rush this set. If they cut power they cut power. Let’s keep this set as it’s supposed to go.” However, fans were found pretty confused and infuriated by the delay in Del Ray’s performance, reportedly attributed to an issue related to her hairstyling which took “so long to do”. Fans also took to twitter expressing their anger saying “Is this contrived or is she just rude?”
Fun Fact: Pizza giant Domino’s won millions of hearts as theytrialled the world’s first jet suit pizza delivery service at the Glastonbury festival in the UK!
Lewis Capaldi returned to performing live after a long break
Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi, who has reportedly been having some vocal issues, apologized to the crowd before performing his song “Someone You Loved” on Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage on Saturday night.
Acknowledging his voice issues, the 26-year-old star addressed the crowd, saying, “I’m going to be honest everybody, but I’m starting to lose my voice up here, but we’re going to keep going and we’re going to go until the end. I just need you all to sing with me as loud as you can if that’s OK?”
Despite his difficulties, the singer, who has recently spoken candidly about his battles with anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome, made an earnest attempt to perform “Someone You Loved,“ a song known for its powerful vocals, to conclude his set. However, as he struggled to hit the desired notes, the crowd helped him by singing back to him.
Following the show, Capaldi announced his plans to take additional time off, revealing, “I feel like I’ll be taking another wee break over the next couple of weeks. So you probably won’t see much of me for the rest of the year, maybe even. But when I do come back and when I do see you, I hope you’re still up for watching us.”
Elton John concluded Glastonbury amidst bittersweet emotions
76-year-old, Elton John, delivered his classic pop hits, during his highly anticipated performance at the Glastonbury festival. From “Bennie And The Jets” to “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song,” Elton John gave a two-hour performance of his greatest hits.
Expressing his gratitude, Elton addressed the crowd, saying, “I’m so happy to be here. I won’t ever forget this moment.” Bursting onto the stage shortly after 21:00 BST, he fulfilled his promise to fans by opening with the long-awaited performance of “Pinball Wizard,” a song he hadn’t played in over a decade. This was followed by a rendition of “The Bitch Is Back.”
Elton John addressed the crowd estimated to be over 120,000 people, saying “I never thought I’d play Glastonbury – and here I am,” he reflected. “It’s a very special and emotional night for me as it may be my last show in England, in Great Britain.”
The Glastonbury show marked a significant milestone in Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which has now become the highest-grossing tour of all time, amassing box office receipts of an impressive $887 million (£697 million). Following Glastonbury, Elton John has only seven remaining dates on his tour, culminating in a final show in Stockholm on 8 July. This conclusion marks the end of his touring career.