Dua Lipa At Glastonbury Review: Modern pop blitz takes over the Pyramid Stage

With assistance from Tame Impala’s Kevin Park, Dua Lipa brings dance-pop extravaganza to Worthy Farm

Dua Lipa Glastonbury Pyramid Stage 28 June 2024

by Danny Eccleston |
Updated on

From the moment Dua Lipa’s dancers march on stage at 10pm sharp to a martial beat, it’s clear that what follows, for all its human charms, will be delivered with military precision. The Albanian-British singer, songwriter, performer and networker is taking her invasion of Glastonbury seriously. There’s even a sample from Wild Angels (“Just what is it that you want to do…?”), as meme-ified by Primal Scream’s Loaded, to telegraph that a) Lipa is not just here for the young folk and b) if you’ve got them, maybe you should consider taking them now.

READ MORE: Squeeze open Glastonbury 2024 with a barrage of hits

New album Radical Optimism (a title Keir Starmer surely must have considered as a manifesto tag) is thoroughly explored. No bad thing, as this is a sturdy and sophisticated work, with some witty and surprising takes on modern romance. It would be an exaggeration to say the singer offers something for everybody, yet her command of a broad variety of contemporary dance styles – from dark, edgy house, to bright pop-funk – is complete, and she’s by no means out of her depth in less straightforward contexts.

An impression underlined tonight. To wit, These Walls – Radical Optimism’s well-drawn vignette of the smouldering cigarette-butt of a relationship – is given a rock band treatment with a winning bottleneck guitar melody. Kevin Parker – looking, in t-shirt and jeans, like he’s been plucked from a nearby tent – is wheeled on to duet on The Less I Know The Better, reversing the FEAT dynamic of the original Tame Impala hit. It’s a reminder that Lipa’s pop vision is one that melts borders with contemporary mainstream ‘rock’, where la-la-la melodies and Spotify-ready dance beats are equally prized.

Elsewhere, the lysergic chords, impressionistic brass and overall dream-pop flirtations of Be The One, her breakthrough 2015 hit, are tailor-made for Glastonbury. It’s a piece that could close a set by Arcade Fire, or even at an over-imaginative stretch, the Waterboys. That it’s dispatched not even halfway through, is perhaps Lipa’s boldest move tonight.

In other respects, the conventions of super-choreographed contemporary pop à la Beyoncé are not significantly challenged. There is non-stop dancing. There are costume changes. Lipa arrives in black leather and studs (warning: said outfit would not be suitable for motorbiking). First change – Lipa decides it’s already the occasion for Sexy Nightwear. And there’s time for Midwest Sports Bar Waitress, Egyptian Princess Crossed With Kate Bush’s Babooshka; and finally, ‘Classic’ Late-’90s Posh Spice iterations before she calls it a night.

It’s a show that leaves it all out there in terms of entertainment, although there are moments you feel she could hold more back, nurture more mystique. Her appreciations of the audience and her delight at “manifesting” her dream of headlining Glastonbury verge on gushing (although it’s probably safer than erring the other way). Fireworks after only the fifth song feels unearned, over-eager.

At one point, she instructs “everyone at home to get off your sofa,” breaking the fourth wall somewhat and prompting your writer to reflect that he’s never seen a Glastonbury performance so optimised for television. It makes sense – there are thousands here in the flesh but millions watching on telly – but it chips a little at the spell she’s been weaving in this field, here, tonight, in the cool Pilton evening.

Dua Lipa is 28. Six years younger than Taylor Swift (the elephant in the room at Glastonbury this weekend) and just three albums old. On the evidence of her recordings, there is much more to come. On the evidence of her Glastonbury show, there is more for her to learn, but not much. She is “manifesting” perfectly well, thank you very much.

Set List

Set 1

Training Season

One Kiss


Break My Heart


Set 2

These Walls

Be The One

The Less I Know the Better (with Kevin Parker)

Falling Forever

Love Again

Pretty Please

Set 3


New Rules


Cold Heart (Elton John cover/re-work)

Set 4

Happy for You



Don't Start Now


Stay on MOJO4MUSIC across the weekend for full coverage of Glastonbury 2024’s best music, including Squeeze's opening greatest hits show, Dexys at the Park Stage and more!

Photo: Getty

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