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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021

Olympics close with a Spice-y tribute to British music

Great Britain definitely did the entire world a huge favor by topping their confusing and outright weird opening ceremony performance with a more than entertaining closing ceremony. The night was filled with fireworks, strobe lights and—most importantly—a vast array of music.
The organizers of the event  paid homage to some of Britain’s musical legends, the most important of whom was Freddie Mercury, the outlandish, outrageous and influential front man of the rock sensation Queen.
The tribute to the late, great Freddie Mercury was a heart-wrenching one. It was almost as if he was actually there performing once more in front of a live audience. Queen guitarist Brian May took the stage and rocked out on his guitar with a solo before Jessie J joined him onstage for a rendition of one of Queen’s biggest hits, “We Will Rock You”.
What was shocking, though, was that the organizers did not find time for Queen’s musical staple, the song that defined a generation, the song that is still played at the final of every major sporting event: “We Are the Champions”. Maybe the line “No time for losers” hit a little too close to home for some of the competitors. Nonetheless, in a tribute to Queen it should have been included.
The moment that struck everyone as odd was definitely when comedian Russell Brand came out riding in a floral-decorated van singing tunes from Willy Wonka. After he finished butchering one of the best movies of my childhood, he continued to butcher a hit from one of the best musical groups of that country. He lip-synced to The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”.
British comedian Eric Idle took to the stage, singing the Monty Python hit “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. The crowd whistled along to the familiar tune, and maybe some of the Olympians who did not do as well as they’d hoped left with an uplifting message.
The most anticipated performance of the night was that of the 90s pop sensation the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls obviously did not have the same spice that they used to have when it came to dance moves, but they still wowed the crowd singing a mash-up of their biggest hits, “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life”. When cameras panned to the watching athletes you could see the crowd revert back to their childhoods, jumping up and down and singing along, probably very similar to what they used to do in their bathroom mirrors with hairbrush in hand. The girls definitely looked like their old selves. Maybe a tour is in the works? One can only dream.
The closing act was none other than The Who, who performed probably one of the most iconic songs of all time, “Teenage Wasteland”. Despite their age, The Who can still rock out like they were back in their heyday. They finished off the night with a performance of “My Generation”. It was a truly monumental and memorable performance.
The night ended and the crowd dispersed, but London 2012 will continue to live on in the hearts, minds and ears of many for years to come. Let’s see what Rio can give us in 2016.


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