Closing Ceremony to feature Rolling Stones, Elton John, Spice Girls
The music director of Sunday’s Olympics closing ceremony tells the London Telegraph that the event “should be the greatest after-party in the world” — and judging from the details that have leaked so far, we tend to agree. Between Adele crooning “Someone Like You,” members of Pink Floyd performing “Wish You Were Here,” and a “galaxy” of other British stars rumored to include the Rolling Stones, Elton John, George Michael, Queen, Ray Davies of the Kinks, the Who, Muse, and, of course, the Spice Girls, all that’s missing is a cameo from some Tupacian Beatles holograms.
The identities of the event’s performers are officially supposed to remain secret until Sunday — but there are plenty of things we do know for sure about the Ceremony. The Telegraph explains that the production — tape-delayed, naturally, to a 7 p.m. ET start time on American shores — will last two and a half hours and is titled “A Symphony of British Music.” Over 4,100 performers will move to backing tracks prerecorded by the London Symphony Orchestra; only vocals will be performed live. The show’s spectacular set was designed by Es Devlin, who’s worked with Lady Gaga and Rihanna in the past. In addition to big-name performers, the Symphony will feature the traditional march of athletes, a montage of Games highlights, and a speech by Queen Elizabeth II.
And while a list of definite performers hasn’t been released, music director David Arnold did tell the British paper that when he took the job, he “went through The Guinness Book of Hit Singles, from 1956 onwards, looking at the top 20 records for that year, and reducing that to 10 for each year. So you’ve got more than 500 songs, all of which you know, all of which were brilliant, any combination of which would make for an amazing show.”
About 30 pieces, including classical compositions, made the final roster. Arnold says they’ll be performed by around 20 household names in a show that’s “beautiful, cheeky, cheesy, camp, silly and thrilling.” Especially if it involves platform shoes and ostentatious Union Jack apparel.
Who are you most hoping to see in the show come Sunday? As a child of the ’90s, I’m legally obligated to name-check the Spice Girls — though watching Adele groove alongside Mick Jagger would be nothing to sneeze at.