Just 12-months after headlining on the festival’s legendary Pyramid Stage, where 10,000 people watched him belt out a medley of Beatles classics, the celebrated musician was back to watch close friend Sir Elton bring the curtain down on his last tour.
McCartney, 81, was joined by fashion designer daughter Stella as the pianist performed a two hour set that opened with a cover of The Who’s Pinball Wizard and ended, some 21 tracks and four duets later, with the instantly recognizable Rocket Man.
Sir Elton, 76, was close to tears as hundreds of thousands gathered at Worthy Farm for the final UK show of his sprawling Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
The performance conjured images of McCartney’s own headline performance in 2022, a concert that has been delayed by three years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and featured guest appearances from Foo Fighters legend Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.
Going nowhere, man: Sir Paul McCartney watched from the sidelines on Sunday evening as Sir Elton John performed the final live UK performance of a glittering six decade career at Glastonbury
Iconic: Sir Elton performed a two hour set that opened with a cover of The Who’s Pinball Wizard and ended, some 21 tracks and four duets later, with the instantly recognizable Rocket Man
And fans were quick to praise the singer, with one tweeting: ‘I just love seeing #PaulMcCartney watching all the artists from the sidelines, what a guy.’
While a second quipped: ‘McCartney spotted watching Elton from the wings!’
Elsewhere a third joked: ‘#Elton rocking it at #Glastonbury so many hits and his piano playing sensational! Love the shots of #PaulMcCartney who must be jealous of EJ voice quality.’
Sir Elton walked on to the stage in a gold suit before taking a seat at the piano as fireworks went off, before saying he never thought he would play the festival for a ‘special and emotional’ show.
The star removed his famous red-tinted glasses to wipe away tears as his musical guests paid tribute to him on stage.
During the evening, he dedicated his penultimate song Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to the late George Michael on what would have been the singer’s 60th birthday, saying: ‘This is a very special day today, I wondered how I was going to approach it.
‘One of Britain’s most fantastic singers and songwriters was George Michael. He was my friend, he was an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday, so I want to dedicate this song to his memory. All the music he left us with is so gorgeous. This is for you George.’
He opened his set with Pinball Wizard before playing The B***h Is Back and then said: ‘I never thought I would ever play Glastonbury and here I am.
Popular: Fans were quick to comment on McCartney’s latest appearance at Glastonbury
‘It’s a very special and emotional night for me because it might be my last show ever in England, so I had better play well, and I had better entertain you, you’ve been standing there so long, and I really appreciate all the outfits and everything.’
He then followed up with Bennie And The Jets and Daniel to a capacity crowd at the Pyramid Stage.
Sir Elton was joined by Jacob Lusk of Gabriels and The London Community Gospel Choir for Are You Ready For Love?
Following a performance of Someone Saved My Life Tonight, he told the crowd: ‘When I chose my guests for this show I wanted to have newer artists, save for one person, and this boy I heard last year on the radio…
‘I’ve asked him to come to Glastonbury to do his song and he’s an amazing young talent.’
Tearful: Pop star Sir Elton removed his famous red-tinted glasses to wipe away tears as his musical guests paid tribute to him on stage
He was then joined by Stephen Sanchez for a performance of Sanchez’s song Until I Found You.
Sir Elton then welcomed the Killers frontman Brandon Flowers to perform with him, who took to the stage in a red jacket, with the pair performing Tiny Dancer.
Brit-nominated singer Rina Sawayama took to the stage with him to perform Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
He also performed renditions Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Your Song and Candle In The Wind to the huge crowd.