Tonight Ed Sheeran was top of the bill on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. He’s gone from backstreet busker to platinum selling artist through determination and a hell of a lot of talent. He recently occupied 9 of the 10 spots in the U.K. chart and is at the top of his game.
But watching Glastonbury I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed, he admitted his nerves early on, and seemed out of ideas until he ditched the guitar and jumped into a rap that used Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstion’ to get the crowd to join in a singalong. That was after he introduced his song that went Platinum, 2x Platinum and 3x Platinum in some countries by saying, “You might not like it, but you’ll know it.”
The value of this set was in exactly that, the crowd was populated by lots of families and children, who’s idea of a perfect headliner in the singing of a song top of the charts back to a guy who can’t do wrong holding a phone in the air to create a sea of torches. But is this really something Glastonbury can embrace?
When Jay-Z played in 2008 he was similarly criticised, the first of his kind to headline the festival. He produced one of the most memorable sets of all time that featured an Oasis cover, AC/DC, U2 and so on. Even just last night Foo Fighters sampled Queen and The Sex Pistols.
Perhaps Ed is quite happy producing exactly what he would if he was playing at an arena on Wednesday night? But will he offer a Glastonbury legacy, a moment that will be forever remembered? No.