Plug pulled on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney at Hard Rock Calling

E Street member takes to Twitter to express outrage

Bruce Springsteen was joined onstage by Paul McCartney as he brought the second night of Hard Rock Calling to a close yesterday evening (July 14), but their set was cut shot when organisers turned off their microphones after they broke the venue’s sound curfew.

McCartney joined the rock legend onstage for ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Twist And Shout’, the final songs in Springsteen’s 29-song set, which lasted three and a quarter hours in total. But organisers pulled the plug on the encore while The Boss and Macca were trying to address the crowd, rendering them inaudible, to the disbelief of the audience.

Explaining the decision, a spokesman for organisers Live Nation said: “It was unfortunate that the three hour plus performance by Bruce Springsteen was stopped right at the very end but the curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public’s health and safety. Road closures around Hyde Park are put in place at specific times to make sure everyone can exit the area in safety.”


However, Springsteen guitarist Steve Van Zandt took to Twitter after the show to voice his disapproval:

The guitarist wasn’t alone in voicing his disapproval of the decision; writing on Twitter, actor Simon Pegg said: “Can’t believe they pulled the plug on Springsteen and Macca last night in Hyde Park. What joyless, bitter killjoy made that decision? #shame”, while his fellow comedian Stephen Merchant added: “Ashamed to be British right now. Springsteen and McCartney playing Twist & Shout in Hyde Park and council pulled the plug cos of curfew. WTF.”


Before the controversial ending, the show had also featured appearances by John Fogerty and Tom Morello. Fogerty played on ‘The Promised Land’ and Morello joined in on the songs from the ‘Wrecking Ball’ album he’s featured on, as well as ‘The Ghost Of Tom Joad’.

The show also included a version of rarity ‘Take ‘Em As They Come’, from ‘The River’ era, which was requested by a fan in the front row. Springsteen has only played this song live nine times before, with the last occasion being on June 14, 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Earlier in the day, Bruce had also joined John Fogerty during his support set on ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ (a song Fogerty wrote).

As well as the pulling of the plug early, the triumphant show was also marred by extremely quiet sound throughout, with many of the 70,000-strong audience complaining that they could not hear the show properly. Many of the disgruntled punters took to Twitter after the show to express their disappointment:

@Springsteen don’t play #hardrockcalling again – it was too quiet & cutting u off was shameful. You & the E-SBand were amazing though! Thanx

— Kieron Mendez (@kieronmendez) July 15, 2012

Bruce Springsteen played:

‘Thunder Road’
‘We Take Care of Our Own’
‘Wrecking Ball’
‘Death To My Hometown’
‘My City Of Ruins’
‘Spirit In The Night’
‘The Promised Land’
‘Take ‘Em As They Come’
‘Jack Of All Trades’
‘Empty Sky’
‘Because The Night’
‘Johnny 99’
‘Darlington County’
‘Workin’ On The Highway’
‘Shackled & Drawn’
‘Waitin’ on a Sunny Day’
‘Raise Your Hand’
‘The River’
‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’
‘The Rising’
‘Land of Hope And Dreams’
‘We Are Alive’
‘Born In The USA’
‘Born To Run’
‘Glory Days’
‘Dancing In The Dark’
‘I Saw Her Standing There’
‘Twist And Shout’

Hard Rock Calling is set to continue today with performances from Big Country, Marcus Foster, James Walsh and a headline set from Paul Simon.

Watch footage of Springsteen and McCartney performing ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Twist And Shout’ below. What kind of dismal killjoy pulls the plug on Springsteen and Macca?

Meanwhile, NME’s sister title Uncut has launched a new iPad app telling the story of Bruce Springsteen.

‘Bruce Springsteen: The Ultimate Music Guide’ gives an in-depth look across The Boss’ entire career, including the release of this year’s ‘Wrecking Ball’, through a host of archive features and reviews taken from classic issues of NME and Melody Maker.

Also included in the app are a bunch of classic photo galleries, video links and playable MP3 samples of every track on his studio albums.

Other highlights include the interactive guide ‘Introducing The E Street Band’, and a masterclass in Springsteen collectables and rarities.

The first chapter of ‘Bruce Springsteen: The Ultimate Music Guide’ is available now for free from iTunes. The other four chapters are available for 69p each.