Even Paul McCartney was transfixed by Elton John's triumphant Glastonbury headline performance

26 June 2023, 10:28

Sir Elton John to headline Glastonbury in final UK show of last ever tour

By Mayer Nissim

One legend appreciates another on one of the biggest stages in rock.

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Elton John played what may well be his last ever UK live show last night when he headlined the Pyramid Stage at the 2023 Glastonbury Festival.

Fellow pop legend Paul McCartney previously topped the bill himself in 2004 and again in 2022, and he was back this year as a punter rather than a performer.

Revellers reported spotting Sir Paul all across the site over the weekend enjoying the festival, with the former Beatle even being dragged out on stage by Chrissie Hynde at the end of The Pretenders' well-received set on the Park Stage on Saturday.

And while it was hard to take your eyes off the stage even for a moment during Elton John's remarkable performance that closed the main stage on Sunday, the camera crew did let us know that Sir Paul was enjoying the show as much as us from the side of the stage.

Not only could we see McCartney nodding along during the set, but at one moment – Elton's touching performance of 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' dedicated to George Michael on what would have been his 60th birthday – he even films a little bit on his phone to preserve the memory.

Together with Eric Clapton, Sting, Mark Knopfler and Phil Collins, Paul McCartney joined Elton John for a performance of 'Hey Jude' at the Music for Montserrat at the Royal Albert Hall in 1997.

Elton John wows the 2023 Glastonbury Festival
Elton John wows the 2023 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Getty Images

But despite their friendship and past collaboration, McCartney wasn't one of Elton's teased four special guests during his performance, and nor was tipped names Kiki Dee, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Rocketman star Taron Egerton or Britney Spears.

Even Dua Lipa failed to appear, with the crowd filling in on her vocals when Elton played 'Cold Heart'.

Instead, the quartet were Jacob Lusk (from the band Gabriels) with the London Community Gospel Choir, singing 'Are You Ready for Love', Stephen Sanchez, singing his song 'Until I Found You', Brandon Flowers (from The Killers), singing 'Tiny Dancer' and Rina Sawayama, singing 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart'.