As Jessie J proceeded to murder ‘We Will Rock You’ on stage at the Olympic Stadium on the night of the closing ceremony, Blur returned to Hyde Park for an unforgettable performance that was said to be their last. Fans came in their droves; watching the ceremony on the big screen, waiting for a night fuelled with 90’s Britpop and nostalgia. No sooner were Madness miming ‘Our House’ on screen, than Blur themselves burst onto the stage to perform the crowd-pleasing 1994 hit, ‘Girls & Boys.’
Fans danced tirelessly at the front—almost imitating Damon Albarn himself as he jumped around the stage, dominating every inch of it. The band then went on to unleash three more of Parklife’s greatest anthems, and by then it soon became apparent that there was a growing displeasure amongst fans towards the rear—looking almost bored, despite upbeat favourites such as ‘Coffee and TV’ and ‘Beetlebum’ managing to spark a sing-a-long towards the front. An obvious sound problem had plagued the night, and not even ‘Country House’ could eradicate the problem that fans towards the back faced.
The highlight of the night was of course, ‘Out of Time’, of which Albarn dedicated to the Syrian people, and their athletes unable to compete in the 2012 Olympics. It was a phenomenal performance, made better as Syrian-born and famed musician, Khyam Allami joined them on stage for a fantastic lute rendition.
The band ended the night with a beautifully emotional version of ‘Sing’, before leaving the pounding pianos and crashing drums behind to perform their all-new ‘Written Just for You’. There were tears forming from the audience members, and deep down we all knew this could be the last time we ever saw them live. ‘End of a Century’ and ‘The Universal’ followed, and then there wasn’t a soul in Hyde Park that didn’t cheer for them as they left the stage for what hopefully won’t be the last time.