Watch the 10 Best Performances at Glastonbury 2014

posted by Dan Murphy on June 30, 2014

Glastonbury 2014 via the festival

Glastonbury, United Kingdom -- Amidst two on-site deaths, the widespread backlash against headliner Metallica, and the announcement of festival founder Michael Eavins' upcoming retirement, this year's Glastonbury Music Festival was still widely successful on the music front. The massive event was held across seventeen stages and featured hundreds of artists. Scroll down for video clips from some of our favorite performances at Glastonbury this year. 

10. tUnE-yArDs - "Water Fountain"

tUnE-yArDs' Merill Garbus has always made a point of bringing a decent amount of spectacle to her live performances in addition to complicated and challenging music. On this most recent tour, she has changed her lineup to include backup singers/dancers, all sporting glitter and painted faces. On "Water Fountain," the hit from her 2014 release Nikki Nack, Garbus showcases her looping skills and vocal power. 

9. Parquet Courts - "Black and White"

The Brooklyn natives Parquet Courts are flying high on the critical adornment of their most recent album Sunbathing Animal. These guys effortlessly brought their brand of stoner-punk to the Worthy Farm this year. Check out guitarist Austin Brown's noisy, destructive solo on this high-energy track, "Black and White."

8. Mogwai - "Remurdered"

There was some controversy surrounding Mogwai's Glastonbury performance as band-members found themselves in a war of words with Metallica's Lars Ulrich. All was forgotten when the post-rock pioneers took to the Park stage to a grandiose crowd. Check above for the pulsing track "Remurdered" from their 2014 release Rave Tapes

7. Disclosure - "When a Fire Starts to Burn"

Disclosure delivered on high expectations when they took the West Holts stage on Sunday. The dance music duo invited a slew of guests to join them including Friendly Fires' Ed McFarlane, Eliza Doolittle, and Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge fame. Here's a main highlight from their set, "When a Fire Starts to Burn." Man, when that bassline comes in at 0:32...

6. CHVRCHES - "Recover"

Although the Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES arrived to a packed tent at the John Peel stage, the band remained adorably humble with lead-singer Lauren Mayberry opening the show with, "Hello Glastonbury festival. That was not a phrase I ever expected to say, so thank you for coming along to see us." Here's the hit from 2013's The Bones of What You Believe, "Recover."

5. St. Vincent - "Digital Witness"

St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, is having a pretty great 2014: February saw the release of her self-titled fourth album to massive critical acclaim, which was promptly followed by a European tour with indie veterans The National. Check out her weird new dance moves on the lead single from St. Vincent, "Digital Witness."

4. MGMT - "Kids"

MGMT seemed to get tired of their most beloved song "Kids" a few years ago as they would close sets by putting down all instruments, turning on a backing track, and singing the tune karaoke style. It's nice to see they've resurrected its classic form in addition to including a lengthy psychedelic jam in the middle. 

3. Arcade Fire - "Reflektor"

Arcade Fire performed an epic seventeen-song set for their headlining slot on the Pyramid stage celebrating their entire discography before closing with the iconic "Wake Up." When asked before the show if this would be the culmination of their career, multi-instrumentalist William Butler replied with a laugh, "I think we'll let the British press decide." Check out their opener "Reflektor," featuring fireworks, congas, and a spectacular light show. 

2. James Blake - "Retrograde"

James Blake's set at Governors Ball a few weeks ago revealed he was working on new material for a follow-up to 2013's Overgrown. His minimal band setup leads to reliance on intricate looping and sampling, leaving his live show a wonder to behold. Check out the lead-single from last year's release, "Retrograde," and try not to get chills as he delivers the line, "Suddenly, I'm hit!"

1. Jack White - "Cannon" / "Red Bird" / "Enter Sandman"

Okay, who the hell expected this? First, Jack White throws in a song from the first White Stripes album (now fifteen years old), which leads into a Leadbelly cover no one has heard before. Then, as if to just mess with the crowd, starts playing the riff from "Enter Sandman" by fellow Glastonbury headliners, Metallica, before going back into "Cannon." This man knows how to keep his audience on their toes. 

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See Also:

Music Monday Playlist: Best Songs of 2014 So Far
On the Scene: St. Vincent at Terminal 5, NYC
Northside 2014: CHVRCHES