Since its birth in 2006 Hard Rock Calling has boasted some of the most influential names in rock music, with the likes of Aerosmith, The Who and Bon Jovi each having taken to the main stage in previous years. The festival promised to retain its spark for 2012 with another round of world-class acts, including Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen, Paul Simon and '90s grunge group Soundgarden.
But while this year's headliners appealed to an older generation, elsewhere Hard Rock showcased a variety of acts for a younger crowd. Kids in Glass Houses kicked off Friday's main stage and injected some sorely-needed energy into the audience, which continued later with Iggy Pop's electrifying punk riffs and wild dancing - a move that sparked a mosh-pit that would last until the end of Soundgarden's roaring-rock takeover.
Despite the weather leaving London's Hyde Park in a soggy state on Saturday, Tom Morello soldiered through his one-man-band show which, despite the conditions, got heads nodding and toes tapping. The Pepsi Max stage later played host to new band Lawson, who brought a poppier feel to the day with a set that included their debut single 'When She Was Mine'.
As Springsteen's set approached, the 80,000 punters - many of whom are die-harders - crammed in to watch his 3-hour-plus set where he sang all the hits as well as cuts from his recent LP Wrecking Ball. He appeared genuinely chuffed when introducing Sir Paul McCartney to the stage, admitting: "I've waited over 50 years to do this", making the organisers' decision to cut them off after breaking the venue's curfew all the more disappointing.
Sunday's Hard Rock commenced on a more mellow note with emerging artist Karima Francis, whose distinctive voice sent shivers down the early afternoon crowd, while Christina Perri gave a stunning performance singing heartfelt numbers from her recent album Lovestrong.
But the day belonged to Paul Simon, who played his most iconic album Graceland to celebrate its 25th anniversary. As fans danced the evening away he brought in numerous special guests, including Jimmy Cliff, Hugo Masekela and the all-male choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo alongside many of the original artists who featured on the record. It was a captivating finish for a festival that refused to be let down by the weather.
Click through our gallery of Hard Rock Calling 2012 below:
Copyright: PA Images Lewis Whyld/PA Wire
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