Day 4: Isle of Wight Festival 2012
Seaclose Park, Newport
added: 26 Jun 2012
// gig date: 24 Jun 2012
reviewer: Rahsian Parris
If good things come in twos, then awesome things come in fours, and the final day (4) of the 2012 Isle of Wight Festival is right up there. With a line-up to rival the who's who of legendary performers, a melting pot of indie, classic rock, and pop favourites took to the stages of the festival for one last show of epic proportions. The sun was blazing, the beer ice cold, and the mud swamps evaporated down to ankle level instead of knee height, the only thing bad about this day was the consternation caused by performance scheduling conflicts - who were we going to see and why had nobody invented teleportation? Cue panicked sprinting between Bruce Springsteen, and The Darkness.
As ever, a rather eventful, if not slightly perturbing blend of acts kicked off proceedings on the main stage - Joan Armatrading, and Band of Skulls made way for The Vaccines, who were the epitome of sun drenched festival spirit with 'If You Wanna' and 'Wolf Pack', amongst others, but it was Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds that would ultimately set the tone and standard for the main stage - a rare moment during the festival when little words and little crowd interaction seemed to work as well, if not better, than buckets of the aforementioned favourable stage behaviours.
Together with the warming rays of the afternoon sun, and the heady lethargy of one too many ales, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds spoke for themselves, their climatic performance of 'Don't Look Back In Anger' captured the hearts of the several thousand people in ear shot, who were all too willing to sing every lyric right back to the stage, filling Strawberry Fields with a sweet sense of complete euphoria.
As the sun slowly set across the Isle of Wight, Pulled Apart By Horses screamoed their way through a set at the Big Top, followed by a somewhat lacklustre performance by festival veterans Ash, who had the misfortune of fighting for the attention of a crowd who kept one eye firmly on the football. However, whilst the England football squad were busy under-performing, Melanie C had no problems showing off her Sporty side on the Garden Stage. Performing a string of rock/pop songs, the former Spice Girl gave a fantastic, entertaining set of her solo songs, including a well received trip down memory lane with 'Never Be The Same Again', 'When You're Gone' and an electrically charged 'I Turn To You' to conclude.
The night, however, was still young and the best was yet to come. The final day of the Isle of Wight Festival was owned by American rock legend Bruce Springsteen who brought a spectacle of energy, classic songs and a whole lot of heart - for the festival goers that had walked miles, been stuck in days of traffic, lost their cars to the swamps and slept in wet tents, this was the moment that made it all worthwhile.
Hit after hit the crowd were gripped in a sense of awe, excitement, and admiration, singing every word and feeling every note, but what could only be described as an epic performance turned into one big love fest when The Boss hopped off the stage to greet a young girl in the crowd, offering her the mic as she sheepishly sang along with the music legend - it wouldn't be the last time he plucked up a fan and made a show of them that night.
A plethora of classics including 'Born To Run', 'Dancing In The Dark', and 'Because The Night', one huge voice, several scorching guitar solos, goose bump inducing sax solos and arguably the most high-energy set of the entire festival, was concluded with 'Twist and Shout' and the obligatory, though still impressive, display of pyrotechnics. So sky bound was the high from the Springsteen show that it took two thirds of the Darkness' set for the Boss' crowd to filter into the Big Top, just in time for the perpetually rousing 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love', which on the final night of Strawberry Field festivities, acted like the cherry on top of four days worth of excellence.
As the tuneful, if not notably boozey, cries of happiness filtered through the air, the raw heritage of this original hippy festival came to life; patience was lost, dignity was lost, but love and memories were gained, so sang the huddled bodies that stretched as far back as the eye could see: "I believe in a thing called love, just listen to the rhythm of my heart, there's a chance we could make it now, we'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down".
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