From dance parties and water pistols to singalongs and Scottish flags, here are our highlights from TRNSMT 2022
TRNSMT picked a glorious weekend to come to Glasgow, with blue skies and baking heat setting the stage for an unforgettable three days. Fairground rides were spinning, burgers were sizzling, drinks were flowing, and ice cream vans were somehow keeping up with demand. But it was the music that made it all spectacular. From huge headliners, beloved indie acts and up-and-comers destined for big stages, there was plenty to enjoy and discover. If you’re thinking about heading to the festival in 2023, this roundup of our own highlights might just convince you…
SAINT PHNX break out the water pistols
The Glaswegian brothers didn’t let Friday’s drizzle deter them from initiating a water fight with their hometown audience. Promising £10,000 to the best dancer they spotted, they then launched into an explosive new track, hyping the crowd up to the refrain of ‘something in the water’. Water guns appeared, and the crowd were cheerfully soaked.
Nile Rodgers & CHIC put a soulful spin on Daft Punk
“I feel like the luckiest man in the world,” announced Rodgers to the crowd gathered at the main stage. A man who’s worked with pretty much everyone, Rodgers doesn’t drop names so much as they spill out of his overstuffed resume – we’d already heard him introduce ‘I’m Coming Out’ as “a song I wrote for Diana Ross” and tell the story of Madonna’s less than enthusiastic initial response to ‘Material Girl’. After a brief mention of his writing buddies Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, he steps back to let CHIC singer Kimberly Davis take it away with a soulful rendition of ‘Get Lucky’.
Sam Fender has everyone in their feelings
The Geordie singer’s set on the main stage was full of emotion, from euphoric choruses to moments of politically motivated anger. But the most moving part was, of course, his hit track ‘Seventeen Going Under’, with Fender and the entire crowd singing their feelings out together in the gentle rain.
beabadoobee serves ‘Coffee’ on the King Tut stage
The King Tut stage is hardly small but beabadoobee brought the cosy vibes with her warm stage presence and cheerful shoutouts to the Glasgow crowd. Her soft vocals floated over drums and electric guitar, but they were at their sweetest in her hit song ‘Coffee’, which saw the whole field joining in.
Paolo Nutini closes out the day with style
Headlining the main stage, Nutini wandered up to the mic with a knowing grin and the energy of a man whose friends have signed him up for pub karaoke. The next second, he grabbed it and roared the opening note of ‘Afterneath’ to thundering applause. What followed was a sensational set prickling with the energy that only a Scottish headliner at a Glasgow festival can create.
Dylan picks up slack for Guns ‘N’ Roses
With a bright blue, sticker-covered electric guitar slung over her shoulder, Dylan told the crowd: “I heard Guns N’ Roses cancelled, so I’m going to play them.” Her cover of Paradise City had her strutting over the stage and shredding on her knees with the best of them, all the time maintaining her self-aware smile. It stayed in place as she introduced her guitarist, “Axel Rosie”, and her drummer, “Phil Collin”.
Griff gives Glasgow a dance lesson
In a long lace dress that made every movement hypnotic, Griff danced across the stage to ‘Head On Fire’, her recent collaboration with Sigrid. “Let everything go, dance with me and just have a good time,” she urged those watching on. They followed her instructions. Later in her set, she conducted a choir of voices to a section of ‘Shade Of Yellow’.
Example holds a bouncing contest
“My name’s Example, and I’m an up-and-coming singer and rapper from London,” said the star as he paraded across the main stage. “That was a joke,” he clarified, to laughter. Example was full of infectious energy and he was well aware of his effect on the crowd – “I feel like some of the security guards are gonna start dancing,” he commented at one point. He also conducted a search for the highest bouncer in the audience and threatened anyone not dancing with being put in a headlock. No word on how that went down with security.
Wet Leg continue on their quest for world domination
The Brighton duo are drawing bigger and bigger crowds, and the buzz around their slot on the main stage was extreme. Unlike other acts, however, the duo don’t feel the night to chat much to the crowd, remaining in their dreamy performance mode and letting their viral hits speak for themselves. On one of the rare occasions that lead singer Rhian Teasdale did address the audience, she opened with the following: “Scotland? More like HOT-land.”
CMAT and her keyboardist channel their inner nine-year-olds
Remember those dance routines you and your friends would make your parents sit through after a weekday playdate? CMAT and her keyboardist treated us to something very similar during her set on the King Tut’s stage. Taking a break from singing, the pop artist tugged her band member out from behind his instrument and the two of them launched into a hilarious and surprisingly impressive dance duet. The moment did not feel out of place in a set which began with Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” blasted through the speakers, before CMAT picked up the mic to announce: “Glasgow. It’s me. I’m here.”
Self Esteem’s backing singers might be robots
Or, at the very least, clones. The Sheffield act was supported onstage by three black-clothed, sunglass-wearing women who sang and danced with impressive straight-faced precision. The singer herself was dynamic onstage, committing to a confident pop star persona with moments of surrealism – such as the moment in ‘I’m Fine’, where she and her backing singers barked aggressively at the audience “like dogs”.
The Snuts play ‘Glasgow’ in Glasgow
There can’t be a better way for a band to win over a city than to play a song named after them. A tender opening to ‘Glasgow’ led into a raucous singalong, with so many people waving their arms from atop each other’s shoulders that the crowd looked stacked on top of each other. Later in their set, the Snuts brought out local up-and-coming rapper Bemz, fresh from a successful set on the River Stage, to get a taste of what his future shows might look like.
Crawlers aren’t sure why they’re opening
“We’re gonna kick the day off at TRSNMT,” said Holly Minto to the already sizable crowd gathered at the King Tut stage. “Not sure who trusted us with that,” she added. The buzzy indie band went on to prove exactly why they were there, however, pulling in a huge audience only fifteen minutes after the festival opened its gates. Their catalogue of explosive rock and Minto’s high-energy dancing had everyone partying before 1pm.
Nina Nesbitt encourages everyone to cry
“If you need to cry, now’s the time to get it out,” said the singer-songwriter, before launching into moving piano ballad ‘When You Love Someone’. It was an emotional few minutes, but Nesbitt soon brough the energy up again with empowering anthems ‘Loyal To Me’ and ‘The Best You Ever Had’. As unprepared for the heat in Glasgow as the rest of us, she was regretting her wooly jumper by the end of it. “Scot girl summer is here!” she commented.
Mae Muller leads a cheeky choir
Performing her hit song ‘D*ck’, Muller encouraged the audience to sing with her, repeating the titular word in a cheerful refrain. The singer was having the time of her life on the King Tut stage, bantering with the audience and belting out her powerhouse pop. “Don’t wave at me, you cheeky sod,” she quipped to a friendly fan.
Mimi Webb shows us all the reason behind her astronomical rise
Only just over a year into her career, and twenty-one-year-old Mimi Webb drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, as thousands of dedicated fans sang along to every word. With huge vocals and the stage presence of an industry veteran, the viral star played an unforgettable set on the main stage and had the whole crowd moving, especially to her breakout hit ‘Good Without’. It’s clear she’s headed for the big time.
Thomas Headon covers Taylor Swift
There were a fair few covers across the weekend, but possibly the loudest singalong of them all was at the King Tut’s stage when Australian singer-songwriter Thomas Headon led the crowd in a rendition of Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’. Headon’s crowd was a loud one in general, though – especially when he approached the barrier to touch the heads of fans like a young prophet.
Sigrid proudly waves a Scottish flag
The Norwegian-born pop act clearly felt at home in Glasgow, cheerfully holding the Saltire aloft for her final song, self-love celebration ‘Mirror’. “I couldn’t play a gig in Scotland without the flag,” she said, pacing back and forth with it flying out behind her. She also chatted about her affiliation with local venue St Luke’s, crediting it as the birthplace for her hit ‘Sucker Punch’.
Gang Of Youths frontman David Le’aupepe runs away from security
“What’s this sh*t?” mouthed Le’aupepe to the crowd, gesturing to the speakers as ‘Magnolia’ began to play. As the song ramped up, he made a run for it, diving over the barrier and into the rowdy crowd with only his microphone visible above the surface. His security guard followed to fish him out, with the weary professionalism of a man who has done this many times. They both tumbled back over the barrier after the song’s close, to elated cheers from the audience and laughs from fellow band members still onstage.
Lewis Capaldi gets emotional on the main stage
Capaldi was visibly moved as he stared out across the huge crowd covering Glasgow Green, softly vocalising into the microphone. He took a breath over the fading music, and a massive cheer erupted from the crowd. “The song’s not finished – please shut the f*ck up,” said Capaldi. Laughter followed, before a final chorus of ‘Bruises’ in which the crowd almost threatened to drown him out. They were so enthusiastic, in fact, that Capaldi let them take over in ‘Someone You Loved’, asking them to belt the lyrics louder and louder as fireworks erupted over the stage.
Tickets for TRNSMT 2023 go on sale Friday 15 July. Find out more here.