Hard Rock Calling 2010

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Pearl Jam was the band that most of the Hyde Park crowd came to see on Friday.  They kicked things off in style with a soaring Given to Fly, and by the time they were into their seventh song, they were upping the tempo at every possible turn. Even Flow sounded as fresh and relevant as it did 19 years ago. After living in Nirvana’s shadow for so long, Pearl Jam demonstrated that they are more than worthy of a place in the music hall of fame.

The sun was shining and the sun cream was out in force for Day 2 at Hard Rock Calling. A smorgasbord of artists took the stage for what was one of the most diverse days in Hard Rock history.
He may be a living legend, with a career spanning five decades. But the one and only Stevie Wonder showed that he's very much still got it - working the crowd like someone half his age could only dare to dream of.

With over 50,000 people crammed in front of the main stage to see him, the atmosphere was electric, and from the moment he walked onto the stage, keyboard slung around his neck singing My Eyes, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

As he sang, voice still as vibrant as it was 30 years ago, we were reminded how much his music has inspired a whole generation of artists, and how decades on, it remains as relevant as it ever was.

He's one of the finest voices of our generation, and James Morrison proved his worth by rocking Hyde Park with a breathtaking vocal performance. Playing at an event which he said made him 'proud to be British', James had Hyde Park eating out of the palm of his hands with his unique brand of soul.

They may have been quiet on the chart front for the last few years, but nothing could diminish the pulling power of Jay Kay and his band Jamiroquai. Even in the heat, wearing a massive headpiece, Jay Kay still managed to retain his crown as king of cool – we salute him!

The last time we saw Paul McCartney on stage at Hyde Park was in 2009, when he joined Neil Young on stage for what was one of the major highlights, performing a glistening version of A Day In The Life. In 2010, of course, McCartney himself was a headliner.

While screens scrolled through footage of McCartney stretching back to the Cavern days, and jaunty girl group cover versions of Beatles songs clattered from the speakers, the audience picked up the “Na-na na na” refrain from Hey Jude as a kind of terrace chant. The greatest song-book ever written had opened.

There were semi-anecdotes/dedications to fallen friends – Linda (her photographs are being displayed on site), John (Here Today) and George (Something). It ended fantastically, too, with a tremendous run through of mostly late period Beatles material including Lady Madonna, Get Back and a ferocious version of Helter Skelter. Good work, indeed. The set fittingly finished on Abbey Road's The End. The crowd wanted more, but the curtain is finally drawn. With a mammoth 39 songs crammed into a near 3 hour set, the Hyde Park crowd left with smiles beaming from their faces. Sir Paul, you did us proud.

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