SECURITY GUARDS CLASHED with protesters in the opening minutes of U2′s long-awaited Glastonbury set last night.
The anti-capitalist group Art Uncut had planned a protest claiming that Bono and co. are tax dodgers but things turned violent in front of the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm last night after security guards wrestled protesters to the ground as they inflated a 20-foot balloon emblazoned with the message “U Pay Your Tax 2″.
Some clashes between around 30 protesters and security guards broke out but no arrests were made.
U2 played what The Guardian is calling a “charged and memorable set…lean, combative,frontloaded and calibrated to win the unconverted”. The opening songs were all from the album Achtung Baby, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. The stage backdrop echoed the band’s Zooropa tour with visuals projected on giant screens. Hits like Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and Bad all generated mass singalongs.
Morrissey wasn’t one of those joining in though. NME reports that the former Smiths frontman declared during his set: “I’ll sing as fast as I can, I know you are all waiting for U2″. When some sections of the crowd booed he said “I know that…we know that…”.
The band payed homage to Beyoncé, Joy Division and the Beatles among others during the set, and even had a link up with the International Space Station. In a video message NASA astronaut Mark Kelly helped U2 out with some of the lyrics to Beautiful Day, and threw in a David Bowie reference, quoting “tell my wife I love her very much, she knows”. Kelly is the husband of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a shooting in January. Kelly’s message had previously appeared during a U2 concert in Seattle a few weeks ago.