Purporting to possibly be their ‘last ever gig’ this was a special event for me to attend – to see Blur in Hyde Park to mark the end of what has been an incredible Olympics. After seeing Blur play at one of their reunion gigs in 2009 I just had to be there for the 2012 gig! Here I’ll include the set list and give my take on each track as it was performed. At the bottom of this post I have embedded a Spotify playlist I made of the set list (using tracks from the remastered 21 set released this year). A live recording of this gig can be purchased on iTunes.
Girls & boys
Perhaps an unsurprising choice for the first song but the right one, the crowd started pogo-ing straight away. It felt funny singing the line “love in the nineties, it’s paranoid”. The crowd was generally older than the usual gig crowd – most of us in our 30s and 40s!
Damon announced this saying that Blur loves London. Not one of their best songs but fitting for London 2012.
Funny to move from a song about being a teenager to a song about being disillusioned with your job in your 40s. The line “it’s just so overrated” was sung with gusto – I think because it described a lot of people’s lives. A bit sad really!
A nice noisy one to continue. Noise was a bit of a problem – for the first 5 songs or so the sound just wasn’t quite right. The crowd kept chanting “turn it up” until I think we all realised that we couldn’t do much about it. I think the wind took some of the sound. It seemed to improve as the gig went on and the crowd settled.
Away from the Parklife era stuff to some more downbeat tracks the gig really starts to get going.
Coffee & tv
Graham gets a big cheer as he sings this song of his with Damon on guitar. One of the best songs of the night. Segued perfectly into:
Out of time
This track featured an Iranian Oud player. Damon dedicated the song to athletes from countries who couldn’t compete in the Olympics this year.
Young and Lovely
Damon announced this as an old B-side that they hadn’t known what to do with. He said the song has made more sense since they’ve had children and dedicated the song to them. It’s a nice Beatles-y track. This was a good interlude.
I have to say, I don’t normally like Trimm Trabb but it sounded awesome!
This was a song I didn’t remember at first and had to get my companion to identify! Perhaps an unusual choice but I felt they really shared a great selection of their back-catalogue.
Damon asked ‘what day is it?’ we all went mad shouting “Sunday” knowing what was coming next! One of my all time favourites and it didn’t disappoint!
This set us up for a brilliant run of Blur classics:
Phil Daniels came on stage to do his bit and very randomly Harry Enfield wandered around the stage dressed as a tea lady with a tea urn. It made no sense but raised a smile!
Here’s a fan’s video of this moment:
I was delighted another track from Modern life is rubbish was played. I think this threw a few people who clearly only have Blur’s Greatest Hits album! Good!
This is a live favourite and always goes down well with the crowd. Absolute stomper!
Damon commented that we’d had two weeks of watching telly but with no adverts. An interesting observation.
Woo hoo! This was dedicated to Mo Farah by Damon and the whole crowd chanted ‘Mo!’ whilst doing the mobot! A brilliant London 2012 moment!
No distance left to run
After the riot of Song 2 Blur changed the pace entirely with a very moving performance of Damon’s most personal song. There was almost a sacred hush as Damon bared his soul. This was the highlight of the gig for me.
The crowd took no persuading to start the chant of “oh my baby, oh my baby, oh why? Oh my!” Beautiful.
This is a low
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better they play what is a lot of people’s and my favourite song!
This was an inspired choice for the come-back and a total surprise. Really stunning.
Under the Westway
Damon explained that this song was written in February for this precise moment – for the end of the Olympics. He dedicated the song to the Hyde Park crowd.
Lots of la la las from the crowd!
And then a beautiful trilogy of anthems to close:
End of a century
At the end Damon stared out at the crowd, looking rather stricken and sad and the boys disappeared – for the last time? I hope not!
Other reviews of the gig: