London Closing Ceremony 2012: Best Musical Acts from Final Olympic Event

Austin GreenCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Annie Lennox and Roger Daltry of the WHO performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The 2012 London Olympics ended with a bang, as the closing ceremony featured a seemingly endless stream of musical acts.

It's nearly impossible to cram 50-plus years of British music into one night, but creative director Kim Gavin and his team did exactly that, covering everything from the Beatles to the Spice Girls to something called One Direction (which I will never, ever listen to again).

Although the show didn't deliver on some of the more salivating rumors (Adele, Kate Bush, hologram Freddy Mercury), it was still a fantastic spectacle. It's tough to narrow the list to three, but the following performances rank as my best of the night.

 

Pet Shop Boys

I've never been a huge Pet Shop Boys fan, but if you didn't enjoy watching them perform "West End Girls" while wearing funny hats and riding rickshaws draped in orange origami, then you simply do not have a soul, because that was awesome.

The electronic duo has received seven Grammy nominations, and I'm glad they were included in the closing ceremony. They've been very influential since they began performing in the early '80s, and their unique performance was certainly one of the high points of the event.

 

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

The closing ceremony would have felt empty without a performance from the Who, so it was good to see the ageless rockers take the stage in front of the raucous London crowd.

Despite being in their late 60s, these two proved that they can still electrify a stadium. They were a great selection to close out the event, and it's hard to argue with their song choices of "Baba O'Riley," "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You," and "My Generation."

They may be past their prime, but there's no denying that they can still put on one hell of a show.

 

John Lennon's "Imagine"

"Imagine" is perhaps the most beautiful song ever written, and it's as powerful as ever more than 40 years after it was released.

It was performed in gorgeous fashion by a children's choir, while video showed Lennon playing the song on a giant screen behind them. It was a touching moment, and the perfect way to commemorate the legendary musician who was tragically murdered more than 30 years ago.