The O2 Wireless Festival

There have been lots of updates on happenings around London this past week or so. Friday, I had tickets for the O2 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. It’s been a busy week or so for me and festivals/concerts (and with the Fratellis show this coming Thursday night it continues…), and Friday the weather continued to be fantastic. 

I went to the show with my friend Mark, who I went to university with in Toronto. He’s been in London for a number of years now, and has been great since my arrival in showing me the ropes. As mentioned, the day was amazing – all blue skies with big, fluffy clouds, sunshine and enough of a breeze to keep it all at a good level. Unlike the Police show a few days earlier, this was more of a festival, with multiple stages playing a number of different bands. And unlike Sunday, there was more than one band that I wanted to see play.

We started with wandering the venue, but as it turned out we had showed up as a bunch of the stages were between sets. No problem, we sat ourselves down in front of the main stage and watched a couple of the bands. They weren’t all that great, but Lightspeed Champions did this pretty cool version of the theme music to Star Wars, which was entertaining. We moved briefly to the Sandisk Stage to watch The Rascals, who put on a pretty good set.

Most of the rest of the day (with short trips for food and beer) was spent camped out in front of the main stage. Around 6:00, the Wombats came on stage and put together a great set. They were one of the bands I had wanted to see, and they did not disappoint. I knew a couple of their songs (and think I may have even seen them at Coachella last year…), and will likely pick up their disc based on the very fun set they did. After the Wombats played, was the main act I had come to see – Beck. I’ve been a Beck fan since back in the day, and saw him last at Lollapalooza, at Molson Park in Barrie, just after university. It seems an eternity ago. Beck doesn’t do much in terms of engaging with the audience, but still put on a hell of a show. He pretty much just put his foot down and hammered through a whole lot of music – all the big hits as well as a lot of stuff off the new disc.

The headliner for the evening was Morrissey, and while I’ve never been a huge fan of either him or the Smiths (more a fan of the Smiths to be honest), he’s one of those iconic personalities that I felt I should see at least once in my life. As I said, I was never a huge fan of the Smiths back in the day, and didn’t follow the solo career of Morrissey at all. As much as I liked the Smiths music, I couldn’t get over Morrissey – he always came across as a hugely egotistical, arrogant, self-important jackass, and after seeing him live in person, I can safely say that the years have not mellowed him at all. Frankly, I can do without all the preaching from rock stars – I really don’t give a damn about their beliefs.

In all fairness, he put on a hell of a good show, when he shut the hell up and just sang. The band was very good, and it was a very tight, entertaining set. He waited to the end to pull out the big crowd-pleaser How Soon Is Now?, which got the crowd completely riled up and singing along. It was fun. 

All-in-all, it was another excellent day in a summer that is shaping up to be one of the best ever.