The Grammy winner, 79, surprised fans at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on Thursday, June 16, when he brought out the “Badlands” singer, 72, for a grand finale. “He’s a local boy,” McCartney quipped before introducing the New Jersey native. “He’s gonna come and sing with us. Ladies and gentlemen, Bruce Springsteen!”
The Born to Run author hugged the former Beatle before wishing him a happy birthday, then launched into his hit “Glory Days.” McCartney, who turns 80 on Saturday, June 18, called the musician’s appearance “a birthday present to himself.”
Springsteen also joined the U.K. native for a rendition of the Beatles song “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and later returned to play guitar for the final song of the evening, “The End,” which also featured fellow New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi. The rocker, 60, led the crowd in a birthday singalong for McCartney earlier in the encore.
The Wings founder and Springsteen previously teamed up with Steven Van Zandt in 2017 during McCartney’s show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where they played the Beatles song “I Saw Her Standing There” — twice.
In 2012, the tables were turned when McCartney made a surprise appearance at Springsteen’s show in London’s Hyde Park. The “Dancing in the Dark” crooner said he’d been waiting for the moment for over 50 years. The pair played two songs together before authorities famously turned off the power to the stage, claiming that the concert had gone on past the local curfew.
“If they’d have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the lord,” Boris Johnson, then the mayor of London, said at the time.
McCartney’s Got Back tour wrapped up in New Jersey on Thursday after 16 shows across the United States. The tour, which kicked off in Washington in April, marked the guitarist’s first concerts since 2019.
The songwriter released his 18th solo album, McCartney III, in December 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The prolific artist joked that working on the project was the musical equivalent of cleaning out his closet.
“That’s a bit what that was,” he told CBS News at the time. “I just started, like, cleaning out my cupboards. Like, ‘Wait a minute, what was that song last year that I started but never got to finish? Let’s have a look at that. I should finish this.’”
Some critics called the album McCartney’s best work in years. It was later nominated for two trophies at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.