×

Paul McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen to share the stage Thursday night for a performance of the Boss’ anthem “Glory Days” and the early Beatles tune “I Wanna Be Your Man.” The surprise collaboration took place at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the last U.S. stop on McCartney’s “Got Back” tour.

Having just joined Coldplay for two songs at the same venue on June 5, Springsteen appeared 29 songs into the McCartney show, looking happy and fit at age 72. It was a reunion for the pair: Springsteen had previously performed “I Saw Her Standing There” with McCartney at the latter’s July 2012 show at London’s Hyde Park.

Later, Jon Bon Jovi came onstage with a handful of balloons and gave a quick “Happy Birthday” serenade to McCartney, who turns 80 on Saturday.

“Has anybody in the audience got a birthday?” asked McCartney, introducing the song “Birthday” as he typically has on the tour. “I know it’s somebody’s birthday,” said Bon Jovi, appearing from the wings with the balloons.

The Boss returned to play guitar at the end of the show-closing “Abbey Road” medley, trading solos with McCartney’s bandmates.

The performance marked the wrap-up of McCartney’s U.S. tour. (See Variety‘s review of his May 13 concert at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium here.) Going forward, McCartney headlines the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival on June 24, the only date  currently set on his concert itinerary.

Watch fan video of the performance with Springsteen and the appearance by Bon Jovi, below.


The 40-song set hued closely to the repertoire McCartney has been playing since the “Got Back” tour began April 28 in Spokane, Wash. It did include a couple of songs that have been rotated in and out of the tor’s setlist, Wings’ 1973 classic “Jet” and “Queenie Eye,” from McCartney’s 2013 album “New.”

The Beatles legend was in strong voice throughout on an overcast night in New Jersey, with rain only interfering briefly during a typically bombastic performance of “Live and Let Die.” Early in the show, he told the massive crowd, “I’m gonna take a moment for myself just to drink it all in.” Acknowledging a number of audience signs wishing him a happy early 80th and a loud chant from the audience, he said, “Yeah, you’re right. I’ve got a birthday coming up. I’m not trying to ignore it, but …”

Other highlights included McCartney’s virtual “duet” with John Lennon’s vocal from the Beatles’ famed 1969 rooftop concert on “I’ve Got a Feeling,” stripped-down renditions of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and the Lennon tribute “Here Today,” and the hard-rocking “Helter Skelter,” which found McCartney as spry as musicians five decades younger.

Following the show, the McCartney camp announced the Aug. 5 release of limited-edition CD and vinyl boxed sets featuring his three self-titled, self-performed “McCartney” albums packaged together for the first time.

Here is Paul McCartney’s June 16 set list:

“Can’t Buy Me Love”
“Junior’s Farm”
“Letting Go”
“Got to Get You Into My Life”
“Come On to Me”
“Let Me Roll It”
“Getting Better”
“Let ‘Em In”
“My Valentine”
“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five”
“Maybe I’m Amazed”
“I’ve Just Seen a Face”
“In Spite of All the Danger”
“Love Me Do”
“Dance Tonight”
“Blackbird”
“Here Today”
“New”
“Lady Madonna”
“Fuh You”
“Jet”
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”
“Something”
“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
“You Never Give Me Your Money”
“She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”
“Get Back”
“Band on the Run”
“Glory Days” (with Bruce Springsteen)
“I Wanna Be Your Man” (with Bruce Springsteen)
“Live and Let Die”
“Hey Jude”

Encore:
“I’ve Got a Feeling”
“Happy Birthday” (sung by Jon Bon Jovi)
“Birthday”
“Helter Skelter”
“Golden Slumbers”
“Carry That Weight”
“The End” (with Bruce Springsteen)