The late addition of Public Enemy to the I’ll Be Your Mirror lineup made the entire festival. The reunions of Company Flow, which played its third show in 10 years only hours before, and Ultramagnetic MC’s, who performed on Saturday, were something special, and only a musical convention of this caliber could bring these groups back together, however, neither have the drawing power, star power, or raw power of this third headliner, and the absence of Mogwai only sweetened the deal.
When the Scottish Ambient-Rock outfit bowed out of its Sunday afternoon performance, speculation began. Maybe Jeff Mangum’s set would be extended? Maybe ATP would make a move of epic proportions and bring Radiohead to the party, they were in town after all. But instead, the decision was made to stay in house, and extend Public Enemy’s set by a full hour.
The revolutionary Rap collective was scheduled to perform it’s classic 1990 record Fear Of A Black Planet, and did so to cheers and crowd surfing hooligans, eventually cracking open a greatest hits collection that shocked the Hip-Hop heads and plaid clad hipsters alike.
Jeff Mangum is an acquired taste, Portishead can leave some folks wanting, but Public Enemy is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most respected musical outfits of all-time with an uncanny ability to make Mother Theresa throw hands in the pit…believe me, she was into that kind of thing.
How respected is Public Enemy you might ask; esteemed enough for Portishead to invite Chuck D on stage during the band’s festival closing set to drop a verse upon its “Machine Gun.” Check the video below.