by Andrew Trendell and Elliot Mitchell Staff | Photos by Wenn

Tags: Kanye West 

Kanye at Glastonbury - the for and against

'The greatest living rockstar' or self-indulgent masturbation?

 

Kanye West Glastonbury review - for and against, negative, positive Photo: Wenn

AGAINST (kinda) - ANDREW TRENDELL

Well, 'against' is a strong word. One can't help but feel that it was very much history in the making, for better or worse.

The towering wave of unadulterated hatred and bile that we are receiving for our immediately positive reaction to his set reveals how bloodied the line in the sand is. Like the NHS, Glastonbury is an institution that Brits will defend until their final breath - but does Yeezy fit the ethos? 

Well, yes and no. Again, the sheer spectacle of West's Pyramid Stage set made it one for all time. There were rumours of an Eminem collaboration, and indeed, Glasto has certainly been the place throughout history to leaf through your phone book and pack the stage with special guests. We daresay Yeezy could have pulled off an Avengers style hit squad of A-listers - but he didn't need that. Aside from 'the baddest white boy in music' Justin Vernon (and uninvited chav scrote Lee Nelson), the spotlight was on West and West alone. Quite literally soaring above all others as he touched the sky in a cherry-picker.

And now, you haters - we hear you. One can totally sympathise. One does lean towards the notion that it was kind of like watching brain surgery - impressive to see, but not that enjoyable. For every bystander with us last night losing their mind, there was another bored to tears - waiting for that 'Coldplay' eureka moment of unified musical epiphony, where Worthy Farm unites in at least one pure moment of bliss. The closest they got was a brief burst of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Therein lies the issue. To headline Glastonbury and pull the masses to the Pyramid, one usually leans on 'casual fans' - those who are not devout Kings Of Leon or Arctic Monkeys fans, but will gladly walk their cider for a sing-along of 'Mardy Bum' or 'Sex On Fire'.

There is no such thing as a 'casual' Kanye fan - he wants to mean everything to everyone, and if he can't then he'll leave you behind. Hence why so many feel more than a little bit cheated. Is that a very 'Glastonbury' way to feel?

No, but whatever - hip-hop matters, Kanye matters and last night mattered. Yeezy certainly played up to being 'the world's greatest living rockstar', even if the world didn't agree. 

FOR - ELLIOT MITCHELL

Last night was undoubtedly the most important headline set in Glastonbury’s history, and no one other than Kanye could have done that.

Yeezy’s live show has gone through so many reconfigurations over the years that no one really knew what to expect, was he just going to do straight up album tracks and guest spots and avoid the radio hits? Would he bring out a wealth of special guests? And perhaps most importantly, would he rant?

This culmination of criticism before the show set Kanye up to fail, so it was glorious to see him play to his haters, give them a creative middle finger and provide one of the most stunning live shows I’ve ever witnessed (rant free, sorry tabloids).

Naturally, cuts like ‘Cold’, ‘I Don’t Like’ and ‘I Wonder’ aren’t going to be known by casual fans or those that aren’t familiar past ‘Gold Digger’, but the raw primal energy of his performance makes him an artist you can’t take your eyes off for one second. Not to mention his iconic, simplistic stage setup as well, with every shot perfectly encapsulating why he is the most vital artist of our generation (I mean c’mon, you can’t deny that it looked better than four middle aged white men standing on stage with guitars) 

In short, whether you like Kanye or not, you can’t deny that his headline set was the spectacle that a festival like Glastonbury commands. I take no hesitation in saying Kanye West is the greatest rockstar of all time, and even people who use hashtags like #RealMusic can’t fault that.


Andrew Trendell and Elliot Mitchell

Staff

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