Miguel Medina, AFP/ Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images/ Jason Merritt, Getty…
- Posted on Jun 26th 2011 6:45PM by Stephen Dowling
Joel Ryan, AP/PA
With the biggest stadium band on the planet (U2) and the Pyramid Stage's "house band" (Coldplay) Beyoncé had enough to contend with without taking into account the fact she was the first woman to headline the festival since Sinead O'Connor in 1991.
Flanked by her all-female band and a quartet of dancers, Beyoncé appeared in a gold-sequinned jacket and little else, walking down a staircase to the strains of 'Crazy in Love.' No messing about -- she meant business, especially as the follow-up was 'Single Ladies.' Both signature hits so early?
There were clearly some big surprises waiting, and the first of these was Bristolian rapper Tricky joining her for 'Baby Boy,' one that caught the massive crowd completely off-guard.
TV cameras showed Gwyneth Paltrow down the front -- clearly the kind of celeb the likes of Kaiser Chiefs just can't compete with.
The pedal-to-the-metal energy levels dipped halfway through, no doubt to give Ms Knowles pause for breath, she returned to give the Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' an astonishing reworking -- making the Tennessee Strokes' cringe-tastic anthem sound genuinely passionate. For that alone she deserved a 30-minute ovation.
Finishing with a medley of Destiny's Child hits -- 'Independent Woman,' 'Say My Name' and 'Survivor' -- this was a pop spectacle the likes of which Glastonbury has never seen.