Patti Smith at Field Day 2015, review: Punk poet legend performs Horses in full

There wasn't a dry eye in Victoria Park for the 'godmother of punk'

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 08 June 2015 13:41
Punk legend Patti Smith performs at Field Day in Victoria Park
Punk legend Patti Smith performs at Field Day in Victoria Park

“I’m not wearing these shades to look cool. It’s just, you know… the sun,” Patti Smith says to her audience. “You’re the f**king coolest!” someone screams in response.

Ride may have caused a stir with their reunion and FKA twigs is captivating to watch, but the punk poet legend is the event of Field Day weekend.

She misses a cue at the beginning of “Birdman” and shrugs it off. “I don’t do nothing perfect,” she tells her audience, pausing before adding: “I only f**k up perfect.”

Following “Because the Night” with “My Generation”, she spits out the lyrics, tosses her head and attacks a guitar, ripping up the strings like it just insulted Arthur Rimbaud. “Birdland”, dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, is one of several moments that actually leaves many audience members in tears.

Smith’s voice is rougher, more weathered than it is on the record, and she sounds angrier. “We are all being f**ked by corporations, by the military. We are free people and we want the world and we want it now!” she roars.

Watching Patti Smith perform live – for the first, second or fifth time – feels like a life-changing experience as it is. Witnessing her perform Horses in full, on its 40th anniversary, is something else entirely.

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