Lionel Richie at Glastonbury 2015, review: Like the anti-Kanye he delights in audience engagement

"Hello" singer may just have proven himself the greatest rock star on the planet

Emily Jupp
Monday 29 June 2015 11:56
Putty in his hands: Lionel Richie plays Glastonbury
Putty in his hands: Lionel Richie plays Glastonbury

There were lots of flags flying in the crowd at 4pm on Sunday. Some showed Lionel Richie as a trippy caterpillar, others as Where's Wally. One woman showed her love by crowdsurfing on a inflatable lilo. All showed great affection for the musician whose career spans many decades.

Claiming to have brought some "California Sunshine" with him, Richie fittingly kicked off with old Commodore number "Lazy like Sunday morning" giving it a new twist by skatting at the end.

He powered through his set, running through hit after hit including "On My Way" and hangover-banishing "Dancing On The Ceiling".

His charmingly gentle jokes ("this is intimidating because there's people on the front row here that know the lyrics better than I do") made the crowd putty in his hands.

Best of all, unlike the Saturday night acts, he knew the name of the festival he was at and got the Glastonbury crowd to join in with what felt like a jolly old karaoke session.

Like the anti-Kanye, his performance was all about audience engagement and he was visibly delighted by how many of the crowd could sing every word to "Hello".

Reminding us it's been 30 years since "We Are the World" first came out, he rounds off a wonderful set with a giant love-in singalong. Perfect for the Sunday "dads" slot but he might also have converted a young new following too.

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