The closing ceremony of the London Olympics wrapped up last night with a performance of The Who, but we here in America, didn’t get to see all of it initially because NBC decided to edit over an hour and a half of the ceremonies. Although the network did show more of the Who’s performance during their late night (after midnight) recap, I and many others weren’t watching then. I was also following the timeline of the closing ceremony and noticed that NBC didn’t show Ray Davies performing The Kinks ‘Waterloo Sunset.’ You can watch both performance below.
I did see the ceremonies described as the “Brit-pop equivalent of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” I also saw DJ FatBoy Slim helping coin a new term “hand-syncing.” The closing ceremonies did include many classic rock artists besides the Who and Davies. I was hoping the tease of the works of David Bowie was leading to an appearance, but that didn’t happen. And who knew Jesse J was one of the superstars of British music? I certainly didn’t, although she looked good.
Some of the other highlights were a rock connection included:
A children’s choir and video footage of John Lennon singing ‘Imagine,’ with a sculpture of Lennon’s face displayed by performers on the stadium floor.
Footage of Freddie Mercury at Queen’s triumphant 1986 show at Wembley Stadium led into Queen guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor being joined by Jessie J on ‘We Will Rock You.’
A British pop star I have never heard of, Ed Sheeran, teamed up with Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Mike Rutherford of Genesis for Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here,’ that included a re-inactment of the man-on-fire album cover.
The Kaiser Chiefs covered The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard,’ and Russell Brand lip-synched ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Beatles’ ‘I Am the Walrus.’ There was a bit of ELO music in there too at one point. There was a lot of the “cheese factor” during the Olympic closing ceremonies, but all-in-all London put on a fantastic games and should be commended. On to ‘Rock In Rio,’ for the next summer games in 2016, where they really know how to bring the rock. Maybe Sepultura at the closing ceremonies there, huh?