As Glastonbury 2022 draws to a close, a variation of the rumors that have abounded all weekend begin to circulate about Harry Styles secretly appearing as a guest during one of the main sets. This time it’s not the former One Direction star, but Eminem, who has apparently been spotted swimming at the exclusive Babington House hotel, not far from the Worthy Farm site – evidence, it is alleged, that he is ready to make a splash. guest appearance during Kendrick Lamar’s performance. . Turns out it’s no more true than Harry Styles.
Lamar’s set is tightly choreographed and involves two groups of dancers, one all-male and the other all-female, whose movements range from sinuous to militaristic. It’s also beautifully lit, frequently in stark white light, with the screens behind Lamar displaying sections of his lyrics in large print: The Blacker the Berry plays off his angriest line, “You hate me, don’t you?” rise above him. . A huge parental guidance sticker appears during DNA. It’s clearly not the kind of thing built to be interrupted by a surprise appearance from Slim Shady.
The performance is lightly peppered with tracks from his most recent album, Mr Morale and the Big Steppers; it opens with the frenetic rhythm track of United in Grief, the screens on the sides of the stage literally shake with the sound of the bass, but it commands attention. more heavily in his earlier catalogue, in more or less chronological order. A trio of tracks from Good Kid MAAD City – Money Trees; The art of peer pressure; Swimming Pools (Drank), the latter with two dancers writhing dazedly around Lamar, is followed by the smash hits of To Pimp a Butterfly: King Kunta sounds fierce, Alright’s chorus as powerful as ever. The final section is based on DAMN from 2017.
In the thick of it all, Lamar cuts a magnetic yet stone-faced presence, exuding a Pulitzer Prize-winning seriousness. Dressed in a white shirt and jeweled crown of thorns, he greets the sound of the audience’s cheers with a brief nod and an “okay” and, at times when the crowd is actually making “some damn noise” at his urging, a deadpan “I like where the energy is.” Whatever he is, he’s certainly not one of those performers who smiles at the Glastonbury crowd, shakes his head in disbelief and tells you how grateful he is to be here, although he does have a surprisingly amusing time towards the end of the set. a long period of time just walking up and down the stage in silence, looking at the crowd and nodding his head as if he realized the size of him. he delivers his amazing streams with a kind of HD clarity.
At times the show seems a bit disjointed – the tracks are frequently interspersed with periods where the stage and screens are plunged into darkness – but the ending is genuinely impressive. Lamar lunges at Salvador, one of Mr. Morale and Big Steppers’ angry responses to his celebrity and acclaim. The jeweled crown of thorns begins to drip blood down Lamar’s face and onto his shirt. When he ends the song, he continues rapping a cappella, repeating the lines “You’re on trial, they tried Christ, good luck for women’s rights” over and over again, his voice gradually becoming hoarser and more enraged. He then drops his microphone and walks offstage. It’s an unexpected and short-circuit ending to the weekend, but it’s incredibly powerful and surprising.