Last night’s lengthy opening ceremony from the mind of director Danny Boyle featured a detailed journey through Great Britain’s transformation from a pastoral landscape, to industrial leader and cultural trendsetter. Music played a large role in the spectacle, with Boyle and fellow director Stephen Daldry using songs from some of the great modern artists who call the isles home, including the Rolling Stones, Queen, and Amy Winehouse. But when it came time for a feel-good ending that best encapsulated the British musical history, Boyle chose to close things with a performance from one of the country’s most beloved and decorated living legends. Paul McCartney officially welcomed the 30th Olympiad to London, leading the collection of international athletes and fans gathered inside the stadium in a giant sing-along of “Hey Jude” at the conclusion of last night’s opening ceremony.
It would be hard not to reference the Beatles in a musical retrospective, and the Arctic Monkeys also honored the band’s contributions, performing their classic “Come Together” before McCartney took the stage. When attentions moved towards the 70-year-old, he began with a few bars from Abbey Road finale, “The End,” before asking the crowd to join him in familiar and forever uplifting “na na na nas.” And unlike Sir McCartney’s recent performance with Bruce Springsteen, nobody complained about the volume. Watch below.
Now that that’s over with, the pressure is officially on for London’s closing ceremony in two week’s time; only Adele giving birth in the middle of the field can top a Macca sing-along.