By Melissa Romualdi.

Sir Paul McCartney made history on Saturday as the oldest solo artist to headline Glastonbury Festival.

The legendary musician, who celebrated his 80th birthday last week, hit the Pyramid Stage for his first performance at the festival since 2004.

McCartney reunited with his late bandmate John Lennon for a virtual duet of The Beatles’ 1970 single “I’ve Got A Feeling”, made possible with movie director Peter Jackson’s hi-tech skills. The performance heard Lennon’s vocals isolated from the rest of the band.


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“That is so special for me,” McCartney said following the heartwarming duet. “I know it’s virtual. There I am singing with John again, we’re back together.”

In April, the singer-songwriter surprised fans when he initially did a virtual duet with Lennon.

Later in his set, Sir Paul welcomed Dave Grohl to the stage to perform a number of chart-topping hits together including “Band On The Run” and “I Saw Her Standing There”. The appearance marked Grohl’s first performance since his Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins tragically died in March.

“This guy flew in specially to do this…Love you Dave thank you man we all love ya. Ladies and gentlemen one more time – Dave Grohl,” McCartney said before the singer and guitarist exited the stage. “He [Dave] said you know [I’ll] come over and I didn’t believe him but I should have, he showed up.”

“I swear, I would never miss being right here with you, right now,” Grohl replied.


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McCartney continued, “We have another surprise for you from the east coast of America, New Jersey, it’s Mr. Bruce Springsteen.”

Entering the stage, the “Dancing in the Dark” singer wished Sir Paul a happy birthday and “another glorious 80 years”. The duo proceeded to play “Glory Days” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”.

Elsewhere during his setlist, McCartney performed his 2012 track “My Valentine” while footage of Johnny Depp, as well as Natalie Portman from the music video, played on screen. He dedicated the ballad to his wife Nancy Shevell.

He also paid tribute to fellow rock legend Jimi Hendrix with a performance of Wings’ “Let Me Roll It”, reflecting on the time he spent with the “lovely man.”


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McCartney’s festival show was one of the most-anticipated Glastonbury sets in years, which also happened to occur 55 years to the day since The Beatles reached their largest audience ever when they performed on the world’s first global TV broadcast. On June 25, 1967, the band sang “All You Need is Love” to roughly 400 million people across 24 countries, live from the famous Abbey Road Studios. To commemorate the special anniversary, McCartney played Glastonbury Festival with his original guitar from the historic performance.

McCartney’ headlining festival show was originally supposed to take place in 2020 but got postponed due to COVID. He told the crowd, “Oh, man it’s so good to be here.”

 





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Ellen Bullock