The former Beatle became the festival’s oldest solo headliner during his electrifying set on the Pyramid Stage.
26 June 2022
Sir Paul McCartney has delivered a Glastonbury headline set for the history books which included surprise appearances from Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
As he took to the Pyramid Stage on Saturday night, the former Beatle became the festival’s oldest solo headliner, a week after he celebrated his 80th birthday.
To mark the momentous occasion, Sir Paul treated the masses in the crowd to a selection of his own songs as well as beloved tracks by The Beatles and from his later group Wings.
During his more than two hour set, he played a range of classic song including Hey Jude, Blackbird, Live And Let Die, Ob-La-Di, Ob‐La‐Da and Get Back.
The electrifying show was further amplified as he introduced Grohl to the stage to sing I Saw Her Standing There and Band On The Run.
The Foo Fighters frontman revealed he had flown in from the US especially for the appearance, but admitted that the journey was not without a few bumps as he had multiple flights cancelled but noted he would “never miss being on stage” alongside Sir Paul.
Following Grohl, Sir Paul announced he had another surprise all the way from the east coast of America as Springsteen took to the stage.
After the US rocker wished Sir Paul a happy 80th birthday, they played Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.
Sir Paul also remembered his nearest and dearest during the headline set including dedicating a piano-led version of My Valentine to his wife Nancy and Something to his Beatles’ bandmate George Harrison.
Ahead of the song Here Today, he revealed he had written it after John Lennon died, describing it as a “form of a letter” which he never got to write to his bandmate as he said when they were kids they “couldn’t express too much affection for each other” as they were “too busy trying to be hard and dead cool”.
As the song ended, he added: “If you want to tell someone you love them, don’t wait, don’t put it off.”
Elsewhere in the set, Sir Paul delivered an energetic guitar solo after playing Let Me Roll It.
Following the rendition, he explained that he adds that section on at the end as a tribute to the “late great Jimi Hendrix”.
He also recounted a fond anecdote about Hendrix, recalling how he put his guitar out of tune while covering the Beatles’ song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, causing him to ask guitar maestro Eric Clapton who was in the audience to help fix the instrument.
During the story, Sir Paul briefly paused to allow festival staff to check on a situation in the crowd and resumed after he was informed it had been sorted.
After finishing his main set with Hey Jude, the crowd chanted the famous lyrics back to the singer until he returned for an encore.
When he came back to the stage he was waving the Ukrainian flag while members of his band flew a rainbow Pride flag and the Union Jack.
As part of the encore, through special technology which could isolate Lennon’s vocals from old recordings, Sir Paul was able to duet The Beatles’ track I’ve Got A Feeling alongside his former bandmate on the Pyramid Stage.
To end the historic set he sang the Beatles’ song The End to a cheering crowd with Springsteen and Grohl also returning to provide guitar solos.
Despite the majority of the Glastonbury headline performances being shown live on BBC iPlayer, Sir Paul was not aired on the broadcaster’s channels until an hour into his set.
The BBC has been contacted for comment.
Ahead of his history-making set on the Pyramid Stage, Sir Paul delivered a surprise preview performance at an intimate venue in Frome, Somerset, where he played some of his best-known material.
Earlier on Saturday, the Pyramid Stage also hosted a speech from Greta Thunberg where she called on society to take on its “historic responsibility to set things right” with the global climate crisis.
The 19-year-old environment activist told the crowd she feels there is still hope for the world to choose a path which is “sustainable” and “leads to a future for everyone”.
Ms Thunberg’s speech was followed by a set by pop rock band Haim, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds taking to the Pyramid Stage after them.
The Pyramid Stage also hosted musical stars Haim, AJ Tracey, Easy Life, Joy Crookes and Les Amazones d’Afrique on Saturday.
US pop star Olivia Rodrigo and rapper Megan Thee Stallion both played on the Other Stage, while Mercury-winner Celeste played the West Holts Stage.
Billie Eilish gave an electrifying headline performance on the Pyramid Stage on Friday to end the first day of performances at Glastonbury.
Her appearance was a landmark moment for the festival as she became Glastonbury’s youngest ever solo headliner.
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