Lamar’s set is tightly choreographed, involving two troupes of dancers, one all-male, the other all-female, their movements shifting from sinuous to militaristic. It’s also beautifully lit, frequently in stark white light, with the screens behind Lamar flashing up sections of his lyrics in vast fonts: The Blacker the Berry plays out with its angriest line – “You hate me don’t you” – towering over him. A huge Parental Guidance sticker appears during DNA. It’s clearly not the sort of thing built to be disrupted by a surprise appearance from Slim Shady.
The performance is lightly sprinkled with tracks from his recent album, Mr Morale and the Big Steppers – it opens with the frantic rhythm track of United in Grief, the screens at the side of the stage literally shaking with the sound of the bass – but draws more heavily on his back catalogue, in roughly chronological order. A trio of tracks from Good Kid MAAD City – Money Trees; The Art of Peer Pressure; Swimming Pools (Drank), the last with two dancers writhing woozily around Lamar – is followed by the big hitters from To Pimp a Butterfly: King Kunta sounds ferocious, the chorus of Alright as potent as ever. The final section draws on 2017’s DAMN. [The Guardian]
Kendrick Lamar closed out the weekend at the 2022 edition of Glastonbury with a headlining set. Like he is on cover of his fantastic new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, and like he did at his recent Paris Fashion Week performance, he wore a crown of thorns for the set, and during the final song, "Savior," fake blood poured out of it and onto his face and white shirt.