Review: Wireless Festival
White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age showcase new albums
Surprisingly, with sixth album Icky Thump out on Monday, they only performed three new tracks in their 75 minute set, preferring to belt out crowd pleasers from their previous five records. But Jack and Meg didnt take to the stage until 8.45pm " so there was plenty to check out before then.
The Scare were entertaining in the Tuborg Arena, with lead singer Kiss Reid oozing enough charisma to send lesser frontmen scurrying back to their day jobs. And on the tiny bandstand the energetic Sion did no harm to their chances of becoming Blightys answer to My Chemical Romance. Well, one step at a time, they havent been signed yet - but theyre definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Less impressive were The Thrills, returning after a two year absence and with a new album due. While plenty of the bands fans were in evidence (the Irish flags a giveaway), their new material sounded worryingly familiar, and " worse - the sing-along oldies are now verging on self-parody.
Back with the big boys, Queens of the Stone Age were second on the days bill, returning to Hyde Park after last summers support slot for Foo Fighters.
Against a backdrop of industrial-gothic chandeliers, Josh Homme and his cohorts swaggered onto stage just before 7.30pm, looking every inch the rock n roll legends. They too have a new album to peddle, Era Vulgaris, and they opened their set with the apocalyptic synths of Misfit Love, which set the tone for an incredibly confident performance.
A pair of attractive rock chicks, perched on anonymous shoulders, showed their support by repeatedly hoisting up their T-shirts " much to the delight of the crowd.
There was plenty of back catalogue nostalgia to keep everyone happy, with the mosh-friendly Burn The Witch and A Song For The Dead sending fans into a frenzy. But the highlight had to be the superb Sick Sick Sick from the new album: an insanely catchy, instant QOTSA classic.
50 intense minutes later and they exited stage left, sending roadies rushing to re-dress the set for the headliners. If the main stage was packed before, the crush reached new levels of intimacy as the finale approached, and when the siblings finally appeared they were greeted with a tinnitus-inducing roar.
Kicking off with Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, Jack barely paused throughout the set, only breaking off to tell us how glad he was to be there, and how great QOTSA had been.
Of the few new tracks, single Im Slowly Turning Into You was the peach: a slow, building, rhythmic monster. We were also treated to classics Blue Orchid, The Denial Twist and the rabble-rousing Seven Nation Army in a six-track encore.
But the high point of the set " and perhaps the entire day - was their now-legendary cover of Dolly Partons Jolene. It was a breathtaking, heart-rending performance, and for three lingering minutes The White Stripes managed to create a truly intimate moment on this vast festival stage.