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Ddiamondd

2010s Pyramid Headliner Power Rankings

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To try and take the edge off a forum civil war over what's going on in the news, I figured I'd start a different one entirely.

After some thought, I've put together what I think is a (hopefully...) objective list of all the Pyramid headline sets from 2010-19, from best to worst.

Putting aside how good, bad or middling their catalogue is, the criteria is a combination of: Defying or underperforming expectations, stepping up to the moment, buzz in the field, capturing a wider cultural zeitgest, how it went down on the night vs standing in festival lore over time, etc.

N.B. This does not mean Radiohead are only the 14th best act to play last decade! Put down your bayonets. Just that people struggled with the visuals and the pacing, so it was less of a certified home-run than 1997 and 2003.

Would love to see other people's / I welcome being furiously pulled apart for some of this.

-

1. The Rolling Stones

2. Adele

3. Stormzy

4. Beyoncé

5. The Killers

6. Stevie Wonder

7. Foo Fighters

8. Coldplay (2016)

9. Florence + the Machine

10. The Cure

11. Metallica

12. Arctic Monkeys

13. Muse (2010)

14. Radiohead

15. Kasabian

16. Arcade Fire

17. Coldplay (2011)

18. Kanye West

19. Ed Sheeran

20. Mumford & Sons

21. Muse (2016)

22. The Who

23. Gorillaz

24. U2

Edited by Ddiamondd

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Just now, FuzzyDunlop said:

The Killers above Stevie Wonder?!?

Yep. I love Stevie to death. It was one of the happiest two hours of my life.

But...The Killers completed a long redemption arc with the fest and blew everyone's expectations out of the water. Probably the strongest crowd-performer connection of the decade, bar Adele and Mick & Keith. Encore was a 10/10. Gotta respect it.

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I'd put The Who bottom to be honest, I enjoyed U2 a hell of a lot more than them.

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1 minute ago, mazola said:

I'd put The Who bottom to be honest, I enjoyed U2 a hell of a lot more than them.

Yeah I was wondering about that - The Who just felt like an irrelevant booking, whereas U2 had a mountain of hype, a year’s wait and ended up so flat the band members had to explain it in interviews after. Feels like the biggest plunge from expectation to reality of all.

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4 minutes ago, Ddiamondd said:

Yep. I love Stevie to death. It was one of the happiest two hours of my life.

But...The Killers completed a long redemption arc with the fest and blew everyone's expectations out of the water. Probably the strongest crowd-performer connection of the decade, bar Adele and Mick & Keith. Encore was a 10/10. Gotta respect it.

I was only at 7 of the 24.

Stevie

Arcade Fire

Metallica

Kasabian

U2

Muse 2010

Gorillaz

 

I'd put them in that order

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I didn't see Ed but how come he's so low? I thought the general perception was he did really well? I was in a real haze after 2017 so I didn't keep up too much with the reviews and coverage so I may have missed something.

Other than that I find it hard to disagree too much with what you've got there. Probably hard to argue with the top 4 since they seem cemented as the most celebrated ones of the decade. Maybe swap The Cure and Foos? Foos did exactly what people expected, where as The Cure seemed to blow away expectations (not of their fans, but rather than gen pub).

 

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1 minute ago, Ddiamondd said:

Yeah I was wondering about that - The Who just felt like an irrelevant booking, whereas U2 had a mountain of hype, a year’s wait and ended up so flat the band members had to explain it in interviews after. Feels like the biggest plunge from expectation to reality of all.

U2 didn’t even use their full set time, thinking about it! They hobbled off early, with Moment of Surrender (?!) as the second last tune. It was such a damp squib and the weather wasn’t the only thing at fault. 

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Just now, Ddiamondd said:

U2 didn’t even use their full set time, thinking about it! They hobbled off early, with Moment of Surrender (?!) as the second last tune. It was such a damp squib and the weather wasn’t the only thing at fault. 

I thought U2 started really well tbh.. but a speaker seemed to blow with the weather & the last half an hour was lost on it.

Seen them since & that was one of the best gigs Ive ever been at. Easily the best at Manchester Arena. The only act I've seen use it to it's potential.

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1 minute ago, jparx said:

I didn't see Ed but how come he's so low? I thought the general perception was he did really well? I was in a real haze after 2017 so I didn't keep up too much with the reviews and coverage so I may have missed something.

Other than that I find it hard to disagree too much with what you've got there. Probably hard to argue with the top 4 since they seem cemented as the most celebrated ones of the decade. Maybe swap The Cure and Foos? Foos did exactly what people expected, where as The Cure seemed to blow away expectations (not of their fans, but rather than gen pub).

All fair Qs. Ed seemed to be the epitome of ‘this is fine’. Got good but not great reviews. Had friends who are casual fans of his, who felt it was a very thin way to close out one of the fest’s best years. Atmosphere was pleasant.
 

With The Cure, trying not to put too much forum bias on that. It was a masterclass but still a small-ish crowd. Foos made the wait worth it (unlike U2) and had more of cross-generational appeal. Feeling in the field was ecstatic. What passes as a major Glasto moment, if you like.

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1 minute ago, CaledonianGonzo said:

Rough deal for numbers 16 through 24, being owned by notorious abusers Kasabian.

Don’t make me tap the sign.

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U2 bottom is a bizarre one.

Easily top half of that list, and that's without even compensating for the fact that they had by far the worst weather of the lot.

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I dunno, doing damage control after the fact to explain how "bad shoes" had meant you were unable to perform properly in that weather suggests otherwise.

The band wasn't clicking, the sound was shot and the mood in the field had cooled on U2 significantly in the wake of the tax news before the fest. The encore felt like an apology and they didn't use their allocated time or really sequence the show properly to give the set lift at all. Honestly, The Edge doing 'Streets' with Muse >>>> U2 playing it six songs into theirs.

They were so overconfident they were selling t-shirts with "We Found What We Were Looking For" on site. Imo, they really didn't.

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6 minutes ago, Ddiamondd said:

All fair Qs. Ed seemed to be the epitome of ‘this is fine’. Got good but not great reviews. Had friends who are casual fans of his, who felt it was a very thin way to close out one of the fest’s best years. Atmosphere was pleasant.

Agreed! Thought it was a good but it just wasn't kicked up that extra notch to close the festival. Think his closing song was the bit for me, just made the set finish flat for closing the festival. 

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8 minutes ago, Ddiamondd said:

I dunno, doing damage control after the fact to explain how "bad shoes" had meant you were unable to perform properly in that weather suggests otherwise.

The band wasn't clicking, the sound was shot and the mood in the field had cooled on U2 significantly in the wake of the tax news before the fest. The encore felt like an apology and they didn't use their allocated time or really sequence the show properly to give the set lift at all. Honestly, The Edge doing 'Streets' with Muse >>>> U2 playing it six songs into theirs.

They were so overconfident they were selling t-shirts with "We Found What We Were Looking For" on site. Imo, they really didn't.

Sound was shot? Can't say I noticed. I thought it was dead on throughout (about a third of the way from the stage, so maybe there was a problem with a repeater further back?), and the TV coverage looks great.

Encore was an apology? Not even sure what that means.. For me it was one of the only two parts of the set that really didn't work as not enough people would know Moment of Surrender or Out of Control - they should and could have closed on a singalong everyone knew. I really doubt it was any different than the pre-planned setlist though. Aside from that I can't see much wrong with the sequence - there was only a few songs than even the most casual observer wouldn't know, and aside from those two closing the show none of them were played back to back.

The other part that really fell flat was the link up to the space station.

To suggest it was any worse than the last time the Arctics stunk up the stage is odd.

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Stay off Zooropa, in the rain with all the woah woah woooooaaaah’s is a top ten Glastonbury moment for me. The weather was minging, as was the second half to their set but it wasn’t my worst.

Yeezy hadn’t put a foot wrong before Black Skinhead was interrupted but he got progressively worse and the Queen cover was terrible.

I’d probably have Arcade Fire as the worst of the 7 I’ve seen. A great live band who I always seem to get on a bad day. Stevie was the best. Muse bizarrely in second place, probably because of the crowd I was with.

 

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18 minutes ago, Ddiamondd said:

I dunno, doing damage control after the fact to explain how "bad shoes" had meant you were unable to perform properly in that weather suggests otherwise.

The band wasn't clicking, the sound was shot and the mood in the field had cooled on U2 significantly in the wake of the tax news before the fest. The encore felt like an apology and they didn't use their allocated time or really sequence the show properly to give the set lift at all. Honestly, The Edge doing 'Streets' with Muse >>>> U2 playing it six songs into theirs.

They were so overconfident they were selling t-shirts with "We Found What We Were Looking For" on site. Imo, they really didn't.

A lot of it is going to depend on where you watched it. I was between the sound monitors and the ringed front section, and it was really well received where I was.

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Fair enough, it’s clear that U2 are not dead last by consensus. I thought it was a crushing let-down: started well, lacked connection, saw people drain away and had an encore that was just a waste. Clearly I was in a bad sound position which may have exacerbated all that.

Will mentally move Noncey Pete to rock bottom.

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32 minutes ago, incident said:

To suggest it was any worse than the last time the Arctics stunk up the stage is odd.

This is just your bias showing though - by no metric did the Arctics in 2013 stink. It launched the most successful phase of their career and they actually put in effort. Immense reaction from the crowd, of new and old.

You might have been let down in 2007 or think Turner is a twat (fair), but that’s a slightly silly line to take.

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2 minutes ago, Ddiamondd said:

This is just your bias showing though - by no metric did the Arctics in 2013 stink. It launched the most successful phase of their career and they actually put in effort. Immense reaction from the crowd, of new and old.

You might have been let down in 2007 or think Turner is a twat (fair), but that’s a slightly silly line to take.

Isn't the whole thread predicated on bias?

Given that there's no possible objective measure.

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1 hour ago, Ddiamondd said:

Yeah I was wondering about that - The Who just felt like an irrelevant booking, whereas U2 had a mountain of hype, a year’s wait and ended up so flat the band members had to explain it in interviews after. Feels like the biggest plunge from expectation to reality of all.

The most exciting thing about The Who was their booking given how late it was and the Paris gig cancellation. I wasn’t there but I think they deserve to be bottom, while other sets like U2, Kanye and Gorillaz were a bit hit and miss, at least those sets had talking points. I don’t think there was anything notable or interesting about The Who’s set was there? Just a really forgettable headliner.

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