Neil Young performing last night (Sunday) at the Isle of Wight Festival. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
CHANNELLING the spirit of Isle of Wight Festival legend Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young closed his headline set by tearing apart his electric guitar - the perfect iconic moment to a majestic performance.
Although perhaps best known as an alt-country, folk rock musician, Young's set was decidedly rock and roll, with songs including Cinnamon Girl, My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) and Rocking in the Free World.
After a few acoustic tracks - of which Old Man and fan favourite Heart of Gold were particular highlights, Young got right down to business with a spine-tingling performance that was pure raw rock, right down to the ten-minute guitar solos and the breathtaking electric cover of the Beatles' masterpiece A Day in the Life.
Anyone expecting the weekend to finish on a gentle note, perhaps with a folk singalong, was sorely mistaken.
Young followed Americans Pixies, playing their only UK festival date this year.
The alternative rock heroes, who influenced a generation of guitar bands on both sides of the Atlantic, looked delighted to be back on stage, considering they split acrimoniously more than 15 years ago - bassist Kim Deal couldn't stop smiling.
Although less frantic than in their heyday - lead singer Frank Black admitted he hadn't screamed since the 80s - they still played a gutteral, grungy set, featuring classics including Debaser, Bone Machine and Where is my Mind.
The main stage bill also included top 80s’ rock band Simple Minds, chart toppers the Script and energetic Leeds quintet the Pigeon Detectives.
Welsh hip-hop collective Goldie Lookin Chain stole the show on Sunday afternoon with their cheeky banter and catchy raps, while folk songstress Judy Collins and singer songwriter Arno Carstens were also on the bill.
The Big Top, meanwhile, was the domain of Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess for the day.
Tim curated the Sunday line-up, which featured acts including Killing Joke, the Horrors and Black Lips, before the Charlatans themselves took to the stage for a headline set described by Tim as "the icing on the cake".
• IW Festival 2009 Thursday and Friday pictures.
Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
Click on the image for a larger version - Saturday and Sunday pictures coming soon.