Paul McCartney was joined at this year’s Glastonbury festival by rockers Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters’ lead singer, Dave Grohl. During the performance, which was attended by over 100,000 festival-goers, the rock icons took the stage at the UK festival’s famous Pyramid venue.
However, fans had no idea that not only one— but two— incredible musicians would join in for the magical set. Paul, who recently celebrated his 80th year around the sun, played some Beatles classics, such as hits like “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and then went into some of his solo catalog with the track “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
Then, when the audience thought it couldn’t get any better, McCartney brought out Grohl for “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Band on the Run.” It was a full-cicrle moment for Grohl, seeing as he credits the Beatles with inspring him musically.
Later, the “Dancing in the Dark” rocker joined McCartney and Grohl, and they sang “Glory Days” and “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
During the once-in-a-lifetime show, Paul sang a whopping 38 songs during the 3-hour set. Then, to finish the whirlwind of a performance, the former Beatle closed the show with “Hey Jude,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Let It Be,” which the crowd loved.
Of course, Paul McCartney returned for one final encore to end the evening. When he walked back on stage, McCartney wanted to make a bold statement. So he strutted back onto the stage, carrying a Ukrainian flag. This move seemed to be a direct nod to Russia’s invasion of the country. During the early days of the invasion, McCartney even said he would never perform “Back in the USSR” again.
Paul McCartney faces criticism for showing controversial actor during performance
“It exceeded all expectations,” beamed Richard Martin, 75, part of the biggest crowd at the Pyramid stage, per The Guardian. He said: “Although I’m almost his age, I’ve never seen the Beatles. My wife has. She was one of those screaming teenagers, but he just nailed it.
He added, “He was brilliant. Of course, he’s a pro. He’s been at it for half a century. People behind us were in their 20s, and they knew the songs backward. That’s terrific testimony to the durability of the songs.”
Glastonbury also celebrated its 50th anniversary, with 200,000 people there to celebrate over the weekend. McCartney even sang a duet with John Lennon, using special effects created by director Peter Jackson.
Sadly, Paul McCartney’s performance was not without controversy. He faced criticism for showing a clip of Johnny Depp during his set. Depp recently made headlines for a highly-publicized defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
A clip of Depp appeared on a monitor during “My Valentine,” a love song written for McCartney’s wife, Nancy Shevell.
On Twitter, one user sounded off, writing, “I am so sad that a man like Paul McCartney has chosen to give Johnny Depp a platform. Once again, domestic abuse survivors are completely mocked.” McCartney and Depp are reportedly close friends.