Saturday, 28 July 2012

MY OPINION: London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony



Arctic Monkeys, Paul McCartney and Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble all performed at the climax of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

Arctic Monkeys not only played their debut single 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor', but also covered The Beatles' 'Come Together', which is now available to purchase on iTunes, whilst winged cyclists made their way through the stadium. 


Though frontman Alex Turner was in his trademark leather jacket, drummer Matt Helders sported a Union Jack tracksuit and played on a set of drums emblazoned with Great Britain's national flag. NME editor Luke Lewis said that "The whole thing was far more 'indie' than anyone could have expected. Arctic Monkeys covering 'Come Together' (available now on iTunes)! Happy Mondays, Blur, Muse and New Order on the soundtrack!"


Paul McCartney closed the four hour long event with a version of The Beatles' 'Hey Jude'. After quoting a line from his and John Lennon's 1969 song 'The End' – "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" – he started up on the piano, leading the Olympic Stadium in a mass singalong. At the beginning of his everlasting anthem, sound problems temporaily made a bit of a mess of things, as with the audio from the live performance mixed with the delayed broadcast version, causing an unfortunate overlay. After things were quickly fixed, Macca performed the song brilliantly, and even went up to the front of the stage and asked "the fellas" and then "the women, the girls" in the crowd to sing parts of the chorus separately. 

A surprise musical guest came in the shape of Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble, who sang 'Caliban's Dream' - a song written specially for the ceremony by Underworld's Rick Smith. Of his appearance, Trimble said: "I'm really proud of the performance. I have so much respect for the team that put it all together. Danny [Boyle] always made time to sit with me one on one and go through things and see how everything was going and with Rick we worked one on one too. In the studio, on the phone, it just felt so personal. Not like something that's gone out worldwide! I'm sure it'll take a few months for the reality to fully sink in".


For me the most powerful moment of the night wasn't a live performance, but the moment when Pink Floyd's epic 'Eclipse' blasted round the stadium as the Olympic Cauldron was lit by young athletes and fireworks exploded all over the city, an absolutely beautiful sight and sound. You can watch this in the video embedded below (that's if it hasn't been taken down by those Olympic Committee people!)

Mike Oldfield and Emeli Sandé performed in the first half of the ceremony, whilst Frank Turner played a three song set at the Olympic Stadium as part of the event's 'prologue'. One less welcome appearance came from the awful Dizzee Rascal, whose unwanted noise disrupted the flow of the performances and probably tempted many right-thinking people to switch over. A good job we also got some proper musicians to make up for such a travesty.

The London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony setlist was:

The Who, 'Baba O'Riley'
Muse, 'Map Of The Problematique'
Fuck Buttons, 'Surf Solar'
Sex Pistols, 'God Save The Queen'
The Clash, 'London Calling'
Mike Oldfield, 'Tubular Bells'
OMD, 'Enola Gay'
The Jam, 'Going Underground'
The Rolling Stones, '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'
The Beatles, 'She Loves You'
Millie Small, 'My Boy Lollipop'
Led Zeppelin, 'Trampled Under Foot'
The Specials, 'A Message To You Rudy'
David Bowie, 'Starman'
Queen, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Eric Clapton, 'Wonderful Tonight'
Sex Pistols, 'Pretty Vacant'
New Order, 'Blue Monday'
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 'Relax'
Soul II Soul, 'Back To Life'
Happy Mondays, Step On'
Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This'
The Prodigy, 'Firestarter'
Blur, 'Song 2'
Underworld, 'Born Slippy'
Dizzee Rascal, 'Bonkers'
Amy Winehouse, 'Valerie'
Muse, 'Uprising'
Tinie Tempah, 'Pass Out'
David Holmes, 'I Heard Wonders'
Arctic Monkeys, 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' 
The Beatles, 'Come Together' (covered by Arctic Monkeys)
Underworld/Alex Trimble, 'Caliban's Dream'
Pink Floyd, 'Eclipse'
The Beatles, 'The End'
The Beatles, 'Hey Jude'

The soundtrack to the opening ceremony is now available to buy, digitally. Titled 'Isles Of Wonder: Music For The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games', the album was released at the end of the event. A physical release will follow on August 6.

(partly sourced from NME)





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