It was just two weeks ago that Sir Paul McCartney performed at the Olympics' Opening Ceremony, leading the arena in "Hey Jude" sing-along and continuing to be the most recognizable face from Great Britain behind James Bond and Mr. Bean. Danny Boyle set the stage with a run through some of the region's most substantial musical movements, capping things off with a performance from the former Beatle. While there will always be room for complainers who wonder why the guys of Five didn't get the proper tribute they so richly deserve, Sunday's Closing Ceremony opens the doors for an entirely new batch of rumors and dream set lists. Think '90s girl groups and one possibly very pregnant Grammy winner taking the stage in a salute of London's great success as global host.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Spice Girls are already booked to perform, along with One Direction, George Michael, Liam Gallagher and his band Beady Eye, The Who, The Pet Shop Boys, and Ed Sheeran. Multiple exclamations points are waiting on deck; will you say you'll be there, Ginger? While the fivesome briefly reunited this year to announce plans for their Viva Forever musical, this will be the group's first live performance together since the their reunion tour of 2007-2008.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph's Neil McCormick expects the London spectacle to spare no expense, shattering our modest "less in more" philosophy with predicted appearances from Ray Davies of the Kinks, Paul McCartney (again!), the Spice Girls, Adele, Liam Gallagher and his new band Beady Eye, Ed Sheeran, Pink Floyd, Take That, the Who, Muse, George Michael, Queen, Paul Weller, One Direction, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and Kate Bush—but he's just guessing.
Given the nature of the beast, we have a slightly uneasy feeling about the level of confirmation from any of these acts, but, heck, we'll say it again: One Direction! Playing such a gigantic stage is more impressive than any of the chart records broken by this quintet in their two-year existence, and further proof that this world is ultimately run by teenage girls.
Sunday's program begins at 9 p.m. local time, 4 p.m. EST, and will be available on tape-delay via NBC at 7. Entitled "A Symphony of British Music," it is what music director David Arnold believes constitutes "a celebration of Britishness in terms of the arts: design, fashion, fine art, poetry and playwriting all sitting fairly and squarely on popular music." Arnold spoke to The Telegraph about what have been tightly guarded plans for Sunday's event. He looks at it like a giant party—"the greatest after-party in the world"—and hopes to create an environment where viewers can join their accomplished athletes in having some fun.
"If the Opening Ceremony was the wedding, then we’re the wedding reception. We’re the one where everyone gets out of their cars at the village hall, goes 'Wasn’t that lovely, everyone looked great, let’s put on 'Blame It On the Boogie' and have a laugh,'" he says. Though after reading what the Closing Ceremony typically involves for your average Olympian, we'd advise you to approach your TV screens with proper protection.