ICYMI: Highlights From Essence, Wireless, Roskilde, Rock Werchter, Open'er, Hove, and Sonisphere

posted by Dan Murphy on July 07, 2014

Prince and Nile Rodgers at Essence Festival via Nile Rodgers

Last weekend was packed with music festivals, so, fans, you have a lot to catch up on. Drake's illness brought about two huge moments at European festivals Wireless and Roskilde, two music legends teamed up to cover another classic artist at New Orleans' Essence Festival, and one heavy metal legend took to the skies at Sonisphere. For all that and more from this past weekend, scroll down for our highlights.

Prince and Nile Rodgers Cover David Bowie at Essence Festival

via the artist

The big surprise at Prince's headlining set for Essence Festival was the appearance of Nile Rodgers. The two performed one of Rodgers' most famous credits, David Bowie's "Let's Dance" of which the producer said, "Playing 'Let's Dance' w Prince is so symbolic. That album... changed my life after Disco Sucks." A decent video of the track has yet to surface, but in the meantime you can check out a compilation of crowd shots from the festival. 

Arctic Monkeys Slay Roskilde

Arctic Monkeys blazed through their set at Denmark's Roskilde, playing the 2013 release AM almost in its entirety while including a few old tracks from their previous four albums in an energetic hour-and-a-half show. The band ranked third in a Roskilde wish-list poll from last year, so it came as no surprise their set was extremely well-received by the Danish crowd. 

Kanye West Rants for 20 Minutes at Wireless Festival

Drake's absence at Wireless Festival led Kanye West to headline both Friday and Saturday nights. After performing "Runaway" Friday, West launched into a fifteen-minute auto-tuned rant accusing Nike, Louis Vutton, and Gucci of racism amidst scattered boos and cheers. It seemed the crowd was expecting it Saturday, as his second rant was met with more boos and chants of "We want Drake!" West later claimed that no one booed, accusing the media of spinning the story. Watch above to decide for yourself. 

Azealia Banks Bails on Hove Festival

Drake wasn't the only one to miss a festival appearance this weekend: Azealia Banks reportedly never showed up to her set at Hove Festival, causing a last-minute cancellation from promoters. However, it appears the change of plans made little difference, as a fan tweeted the above photo of the poor turnout - making for the easiest game of "Where's Waldo?" you've ever played. 

Jack White Destroys Open'er and Roskilde

Denmark's Roskilde Festival also had to deal with the loss of Drake this weekend. Their solution? Book Jack White for Sunday right after his Saturday headlining set at Open'er Festival. The result? Two stellar performances in one weekend that you can watch above and below. 

Damon Albarn Hits Rock Werchter with Career-Spanning Set

Is Damon Albarn getting nostalgic or something? This whole tour has been filled with old-school collaborations, and his Rock Werchter appearance this weekend saw a thirteen-song set with only four tracks off his only solo album to date, 2014's Everyday Robots. The remainder was filled with tunes from Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, and even Rocket Juice & The Moon before he closed with Blur's "Out of Time." While it's nice to occasionally go down memory lane, I'm certainly hoping Albarn isn't eyeing up retirement. 

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson Flies in World War I Memorial at Sonisphere

If you look closely at Iron Maiden's lyrics, it's easy to tell the band members are total history-buffs, taking on themes like Manifest Destiny in "Run to the Hills" and the Crimean War in "The Trooper." What you might not have known is that lead-singer Bruce Dickinson is a freakin' pilot and organized a World War I Memorial at Sonisphere this year to commemorate the airmen who first took flight 100 years ago. Check out the video above to see the heavy-metal wailer flying a WWI-style aircraft. 

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See Also:

Wireless and Roskilde Festivals Go Drake-less
Best July Music Festivals in Europe
A Look Ahead: July 2014 Music Festivals