While Friday seemed quiet by normal T in the Park standards, Saturday felt far busier than the day before. Starting a whole 4 hours earlier meant that there was more to see and do, leaving little time for sunbathing and lounging around. After getting into the arena – through tightened security due to recent ecstasy tablet warnings after a spate of recent deaths due to fake pills – it was time to meander down to the main stage again, set up base camp just in time to see X Factor winner James Arthur leave the stage to make way for old-timers , The Fratellis. Reviving after a 3 year hiatus ending last year, the Glasgow band proved just exactly why they were once festival favourites with Henrietta and Chelsea Dagger. The band certainly played as though there had been no gap in their time together, and were a great act to kick off the day.
With Twister ice-lolly in one hand, and a pint in the other, the crowd started to form around the main stage as fellow Glaswegians Deacon Blue took the helm from The Fratellis. Almost as iconic as yesterday's The Proclaimers, the quartet have been together longer than the approximate average age of the T in the Park audience, yet it proved hard to tell as they blinded the crowd with Real Gone Kid, with frontman Ricky Ross introducing it as a song "doing something for the cultural heart of the nation", fans going wild as the famous song blasted out. Yet it was Dignity which unsurprisingly stole the show – setting the tone for the rest of the day as the Ross didn't have to sing any of the first verse, instead hearing it yelled back at him from the crowd with an emotional look in his eye.
The main stage seemed the place to be for much of the afternoon, and staying around there allowed for an afternoon lie down while listening to Dundee band The View. Not quite as energetic as the previous acts of the day, they allowed the perfect opportunity to chill out, get some energy back and eventually have a sing along once they played Same Jeans. Although the band didn't perform badly, they failed to ignite any excitement and instead were a nice interlude to an otherwise energetic day. And unfortunately the same could be said for The Lumineers – a bit too quiet to compete with other acts but recent hit Ho Hey was worth hearing and gave a good chance for a sing-a-long while heading along to the Radio 1 Stage, ready to see wild Ke$ha hit the stage.
Known for her wacky stage show rivalling that of Lady GaGa's, Ke$ha didn’t disappoint. An unfortunate placement in the crowd early on meant being stuck between energetic 18 year olds as they bounced along with the Californian singer, yet her performance lived up to expectations. She played a powerhouse of hits including We R Who We R, Die Young and Blah Blah Blah– after telling the crowd her favourite kind of balls were eyeballs, flanked by dancers with eye ball costumes before asking the audience to "teabag your neighbour". Ke$ha is not the shy and retiring type, and while energetically dancing managed to finish her set after a costume change to Your Love Is My Drug and once again keeping everyone waiting until the last minute for favourite Tik Tok. After the tornado that is Ke$ha has left the stage, Noah and the Whale had a lot to live up to. Following an act like that can't be easy, yet they held their own with a rather more subdued set including 5 Years Time and L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. While they lacked the exuberance and stage presence of the previous act, their sunny disposition never fails to make a crowd smile and they performed well.
One act which proved surprising was Snoop Dogg – finding myself back at the main stage for the rapper ended up one of the highlights of the evening. Having never been a fan, the Californian hip hop artist proved just why he's been around since the early 90s – playing his most popular hits like P.I.M.P before playing a medley of Sweat (a collaboration with David Guetta) straight into Drop It Like It's Hot, including House of Pain's Jump Around and What's My Name getting one of the biggest crowds of T screeching "Snoop Dogg" along with him.
With Snoop Dogg (and his hype man) having riled the crowd up, after a brief stint in the Slam Tent it was time for the long walk across the site to catch Dizzee Rascal. And what a worthwhile walk it proved. Dizzee gave a performance worthy of headliner status – confetti and giant balloons being strewn over the crowd as he gave them his biggest hits with never-ending energy. Jus' A Rascal, Fix Up Look Sharp and Dance Wiv Me started the onslaught of his more popular hits as he ploughed through these tracks. Seamlessly he moved into some of his upcoming songs from yet to be released album 'The Fifth' with recent release with Robbie Williams Goin' Crazy, album track Heart Of A Warrior and collaboration with Will.I.Am Something Really Bad. If these tracks are anything to go by, Dizzee's summer album is set to be a massive hit and one to look out for. Yet he knew exactly what his crowd wanted, going straight back to hits You've Got The Dizzee Love and Holiday - all performed exceptionally and proving his credentials as a live artist. The highlight however had to be his end song – riling the crowd chanting "Let's go fucking mental, na na na na" before changing it to "let's go fucking bonkers", he must have known how wild the T audience were going to go as he punched into Bonkers – the massive crowd jumping along with renewed energy.
Given the high status of Saturday's headliner Rihanna, it was hardly surprising that as Dizzee left the stage after a spot of crowd surfing the sight of giant Dizzee balloons being held over people's heads could all be seen heading towards the main stage. There was hardly room to move as the arena filled up waiting for the 25 year old pop diva to arrive. The crowds settled over the darkening sky, and as the cooling crowd waiting the atmosphere seemed to chill as the headliner arrived late to set. Running 20 minutes late Rihanna explodes onto set but seemed to leave the crowd with mixed judgement. Some screaming along with excitement, while others can be heard uttering the ever-Scottish criticism: "gash". It has to be said, Rihanna is certainly a diva but comparisons can't help but be made between her and Beyonce and the latter's T performance seems a notch above in punch. Starting low tempo – or at least low energy – Rihanna didn't get into hits Rude Boy or What's My Name until at least 20 minutes into the performance, but she did perform these tracks with great vigour and looked like she was having a blast up there. That is, until Umbrella came in – where she looked like she was performing it out of duty rather than any real love for the popular tune. Ending her set bang on time, and not making up for her tardiness, she performed a second rendition of Diamonds before the arena exploded into fireworks signalling a disappointing end to one of the most hyped acts of the 20th birthday of T in the Park.
Not feeling quite ready to give up the party spirit, many of the crowd headed back down towards the Arcadia Afterburner – billed by T in the Park as the Afterparty venue where Claude Von Stroke played into the early hours of the day giving the hardcore revellers some house tunes while they waited for alternative act Lords of Lightning. The act originates from New Zealand electrician Carlos Van Camp where two men in chainmail suits battle each other with 4 million volts of raw electricity, shooting at each other like bolts of lightning. Where Rihanna failed to set many of the crowd alight, this act certainly managed to!
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