Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen Join Paul McCartney at Glastonbury

Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney

Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney

Dave Grohl has joined Paul McCartney on stage at the Glastonbury festival, in his first public appearance since the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Grohl was hailed as a hero when he took to the Pyramid Stage to duet with McCartney on a gritty garage rock version of I Saw Her Standing There.

“This guy flew just for this,” McCartney said. “We love you”

Not content with one surprise, the star then brought on Bruce Springsteen.

The New Jersey rocker joined McCartney to play Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.

He also wished McCartney, who turned 80 last week, “another glorious 80 years”.

Previously, fans had broken into an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday for the former Beatle after he paused to say hello at the start of his set,

“For me?” he asked, temporarily stopped in his tracks,

Saturday’s headline performance was one of the most anticipated Glastonbury sets in years, with diehard fans stake out a front row seat more than 12 hours before the star was due to play.

By the time he took the stage at 9:30 p.m., the crowd stretched as far as the eye could see, creating what the biggest festival audience since Dolly Parton in 2014.

They were rewarded with a 2-hour, 50-minute marathon that spanned his six-decade career. He opened with the Beatles classic Can’t Buy Me Love (himself 58 years old) and continued with the Wings hit Junior’s Farm – a cheeky nod to the Eavis family, who host Glastonbury every year on their farm in Somerset.

McCartney and Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen was McCartney’s second special guest of the evening

“Oh man, it’s so good to be here. We should have done this three years ago,” McCartney said, referring to his planned 2020 set, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But here we are. We’ve got some old songs for you, we’ve got a new song, and we’ve got a few snacks…and I have a feeling we’re going to have a great time.”

He dedicated the Sinatra-esque ballad My Valentine to his wife Nancy Shevell and played Something on a ukulele given to him by the songwriter, George Harrison.

He later duetted with John Lennon, whose vocals for I’ve Got A Feeling were isolated from The Beatles’ 1969 rooftop concert.

“That’s so special to me,” McCartney said. “I know it’s virtual, but there I sing with John again. We’re back together.”

Paul McCartney

McCartney didn’t finish playing until 8 PM

Playing 36 songs in all, their deep-rooted familiarity resulted in some awe-inspiring moments of audience participation: “seeeeee how they run”, or “you have to give the other guy” hellll” and, of course, “na na na na na naaaaa, na na na naaaaa, Hey Jude” – a chorus that reverberated across the field for 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

Other picks felt more personal, such as the Quarrymen’s In Spite Of All The Danger, his pre-Beatles band with Lennon and Harrison alongside John Lowe and Colin Hanton

The star acknowledged that some of the lesser-known songs would cast casual fans.

“We know the songs you like,” he said, “because when we play a Beatles song, the place lights up with phones like the galaxy. And when we play something new, it’s like a black hole. But it we don’t care . We’re going to play them anyway.”

Still, the past half hour produced enough phone lights to be seen from space: Get Back, I Saw Her Standing There, Band On The Run, Hey Jude, Helter Skelter, and Live And Let Die (interrupted by an insane amount of fireworks).

Grohl and Springsteen rejoined him for the final track, an extended guitar jam on The End, the final track on Abbey Road, before McCartney left to roaring applause.

For anyone it would have been a career-defining show – but when you’re responsible for shaping the entire sound, style and trajectory of rock music, the bar is set a little higher.

It’s probably still in his top 10.

Paul McCartney at Glastonbury

Festival-goers sang Happy Birthday to just 80-year-old McCartney

The Glastonbury lineup on Saturday also included appearances from Noel Gallagher, Ghetts, Yungblud and American rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

Pop star Olivia Rodrigo drew an immense crowd to her early evening set at The Other Stage, with the audience apparently including all the teens at the festival.

“I’ve never seen so many people in my life,” she exclaimed. “I’m so nervous.”

But that didn’t last long.

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo brought pop punk power chords – and a cover of Avril Lavigne’s Complicated – to the festival

The crowd sang along to her signature hit Drivers License so vigorously that Rodrigo stopped singing and conducted their performance from behind her beautiful mirror ball baby grand piano.

Her all-female band added some stadium size to the ballad, without losing sight of the core emotion – making the sing-along one of the weekend’s biggest highlights yet.

Also impressive was LA sister act Haim, who strolled through the Pyramid Stage as three musical Cleopatras and played the heart out songs like Now I’m In It, The Steps and Gasoline.


Haim gave one of the best all-out rock performances of the day

Bassist and singer Este Haim recalled passing out on stage a decade ago during the band’s Glastonbury debut due to her type 1 diabetes.

There was no problem this time around, as the band – watched by Stella McCartney, Jude Apatow, Melanie C and Kate Hudson – boomed through their percussive, riff-laden singles.

“My sisters made sure I had dinner this morning,” Este later told the BBC. ‘Don’t you like sisters? The joys and the trials and the tribulations.’

Former headliners Skunk Anansie gave one of the loudest performances of the day on The Other Stage.

Frontwoman Skin sported an impressive inflatable punk haircut, which remained intact even after she jumped into the crowd.

Skunk Anansie

Skunk Anansie

Less fortunate were the alt-pop band Easy Life, whose frontman Murray Matravers fell on his head after trying to crowdsurf the Pyramid Stage.

“I was surprised, they dropped me pretty hard,” he told the BBC afterwards. “But don’t worry, it’s not my first time.

“It was fine. I prefer it when it is because it adds to the drama and chaos.”

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion headlined The Other Stage

Megan Thee Stallion promised and delivered “a good time” on The Other Stage, where she was programmed against McCartney’s set.

Flanked by dancers, she squirmed and twerked as she drove the crowd to frenzy with the pulsating bass of hits like WAP and Body.

Like many American performers this weekend, she also brought up the US Supreme Court’s decision to nullify the constitutional right to abortion.

“You know I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t say anything about these stupid men,” the rapper said.

“Texas is really embarrassing me right now, all of you. The hot girls and hot guys don’t support this shit. My body, my [expletive] choice!”

Short presentation gray line

Short presentation gray line

Lake Glastonbury

Other highlights of the second day included rock upstart Yungblud who took the acoustic stage with Squeeze songwriter Chris Difford for a surprising rendition of Up The Junction.

“This is definitely one of my Desert Island Discs,” said the singer, who later plays his own set on the John Peel stage.

Elsewhere, rapper AJ Tracey gave a passionate speech about the Grenfell Tower disaster; and climate activist Greta Thunberg, festival goers addressed the need for action prevent climate catastrophe.

The festival will conclude on Sunday with sets from Pet Shop Boys, Lorde, Charli XCX, Elbow and headliner Kendrick Lamar.

Paul McCartney Set List

  1. Can’t buy me love

  2. Junior’s Farm

  3. Letting go

  4. Got to get you in my life

  5. come on to me

  6. let me roll it

  7. Better

  8. Let them in

  9. My Valentine

  10. 1985

  11. maybe i’m surprised

  12. I just saw a face

  13. Despite all the danger

  14. Love me

  15. dance tonight

  16. Blackbird

  17. here today

  18. New

  19. Lady Madonna

  20. fuh you

  21. Be for the good of Mr Kite

  22. Something

  23. Obladi Oblada

  24. She came in through the bathroom window

  25. Come back

  26. I saw her standing there

  27. Band on the run

  28. Glory days

  29. I want to be your man

  30. let it be

  31. Live and let die

  32. Hey Jude

  33. I have the feeling

  34. Helter Skelter

  35. golden slumbers

  36. The end

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