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Glastonbury ’08: The Best, Worst, and Everything In-Between


Among some 100,000 concertgoers braving the typically tumultuous weather this past weekend at Brit mega-festival Glastonbury was Spin‘s Craig McLean, a seasoned attendee of the seminal event, and our watchful eye through thick and thin, from rain to shine.

Here are a few of his best, worst, most surprising and most notable moments from Glastonbury ’08:

— Best Performance: Jay-Z. “He was against the odds, and it was different for British culture, but he took the time to understand British festivals and truly amazed.”
VIDEO! Jay-Z performs “Heart of the City”:

— Worst Performance: Amy Winehouse. “She turned up, and was upright and singing, but her vocals were weak and she was stumbling to the microphone. And then she punched some fans — she lashed out. All bad!”
VIDEO! Winehouse sings “Rehab” and smacks fans:

— Biggest Letdown: Glasvegas. “They were the least exciting act I saw. They’re supposedly the best new band new in Britain, but just didn’t fly.”
VIDEO! Glasvagas playing “Garaldine” live on Jools Holland:

— Best Discovery: Seasick Steve. “He must be like 60 years old, and apparently he was a railroad hobo for a while. He plays a three-string guitar and some one-string contraption, and thus has the makings of a disaster. Some boozy old hobo on the mainstage — but he was a revelation.”
VIDEO! Seasick Steve performing “It’s All Good”:

— Best New Tunes: Franz Ferdinand. “The Scot quartet played a surprise secret set Friday night. One new tune, possibly called ‘Turn On,’ was a buzzy spin with call and response vocals. The crowd loved it.”
VIDEO! Clips of Franz Ferdinand’s surprise set:

— Quintessential Glastonbury Moment: “Neil Diamond playing ‘Sweet Caroline.’ At 6 P.M. on a Sunday, Neil finally brought out the beautiful weather. People were holding hands, singing along in the sunshine — all musical prejudices were thrown out the door.”
VIDEO! Neil Diamond sings “Sweet Caroline” at Glastonbury:

— Of Worthy Note: “Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice. To see him perform onstage, playing guitar with Roddy Frame from Aztec Camera, was quite emotional.”
Watch the music video for Collins’ “You’ll Never Know (My Love)”:

— On Jay-Z’s Stab at Oasis: “First off, he [Jay-Z] wasn’t covering it, he just played the recording of it. And in the crowd you couldn’t really hear him singing, but everyone sung along anyways. It was kind of playful punch from Jay-Z. He was acknowledging it was a great Glastonbury anthem, but that he could do just as well.”
VIDEO! Jay-Z opens with “Wonderwall” before seguing into “99 Problems”: