Ringo Starr may have celebrated his 79th birthday in Los Angeles last weekend at his annual Peace & Love gathering, but the real celebration for L.A. Beatles fans took place Saturday, July 13, at Dodger Stadium — when, on the final stop of Paul McCartney’s “Freshen Up” world tour, Starr showed up, right after McCartney had finished belting “Birthday.”
Introducing his surprise guest during the encore of his epic, 38-song set, McCartney told his former bandmate, “I love ya, man” as the 56,000 attending fans roared with excitement, knowing that this would be the closest thing to a Beatles reunion they’d ever get to witness.
A broadly grinning Starr got behind the drum kit for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter,” then the Fab Two exchanged more “I love you, man” declarations, with Starr gushing, “Thank you, Paul. It’s been a thrill for me and I’ve had a lovely night, and it’s a great show.” Ever the prankster, as Starr exited he pretended that he was about to toss McCartney’s bass guitar into the audience.
The 77-year-old McCartney also paid tribute to his late bandmates, crooning the George Harrison-penned “Something” while strumming a ukulele once owned by Harrison, and introducing “Here Today” — a song about "a conversation I wish we'd had” that he penned for the slain John Lennon — by telling the audience, "If you want to tell someone you love them, tell them before it's too late."
And Starr wasn’t the only surprise cameo of the evening: During the encore’s performance of the Abbey Road medley “Golden Slumbers”/“Carry That Weight”/“The End,” Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh came out for a shredding solo. (McCartney later self-deprecatingly remarked, “We didn’t have a clue what we were doing,” but Walsh seemed perfectly in sync with the band.) Pierce Brosnan was also caught on the venue’s video screens singing along to the “na na na na” refrain of “Hey Jude,” though it can be presumed that he enjoyed the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die” as well.
McCartney’s nearly three-hour show was packed with classics, with and without Starr or Walsh. But one of his new songs unexpectedly elicited one of the night’s most enthusiastic crowd responses. McCartney joked that when he played his oldies, the audience’s cell phones would light up like a “galaxy of stars,” but when he performed newer tracks, the venue looked like a “black hole.” He then quipped, “But we’re going to do [new songs] anyway,” as a way of introducing “Fuh You,” an uptempo Ryan Tedder co-write off his 2018 album Egypt Station. The Dodger Stadium masses, as if on cue, proceeded to whip out and illuminate their phones, and a few fans even seemed prepared for the comical moment, holding up signs that read “You Fuh-ing Rock!” and “Your Bass Playing Is Hot As Fuh.”
At the end of night, McCartney proclaimed sweetly, “Farewell to you guys, farewell to America. There’s only one thing left to be said: We’ll see you next time.” The setlist for his final “Freshen Up” tour date was:
A Hard Day's Night
Can't Buy Me Love
Got to Get You Into My Life
Come On to Me
Let Me Roll It
I've Got a Feeling
Let 'Em In
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen a Face
In Spite of All the Danger
From Me to You
Love Me Do
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Carry That Weight
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.