Taylor Swift joins The 1975 on stage: here are the last year’s other best surprise appearances
The 1975 fans were treated to a special performance from Taylor Swift last night, as the 33-year-old American singer was brought out while the band was performing at London’s O2 Arena.
Swift brought her acoustic guitar on stage with her and performed song Anti-Hero, from her 2022-released album, Midnights, for the first time. She then covered The 1975’s track The City, from the band’s 2013 album The 1975.
Fans quickly turned online to share their thoughts about the appearance. One Tweeted: “Taylor Swift covering a The 1975 song. Waking up to this feels like a glitch. WTF,” while another said, “B**ch I just saw Taylor swift and the 1975 in the SAME night,” and a third said, “So happy for the people at the 1975 concert seeing for the first time taylor swift performing anti-hero!!!”
so happy for the people at the 1975 concert seeing for the first time taylor swift performing anti-hero!!!
— gab + andrea ; 🦖 (@steveparkver) January 12, 2023
Swift is no stranger to surprising her own audiences with special guests during her concerts: in the past, she has brought out Steven Tyler, Ellie Goulding, Nelly and Lisa Kudrow, of all people (the duo sang the Friends hit Smelly Cat).
Of course, it makes sense that musicians would admire, or be friends with, other musicians – and it must be fun to play together on stage. And for the audience, it’s nearly always a massive win too, as they get to see another big star performing at the show.
Here’s our selection of the best surprise guest appearances on stage in the last year.
David Grohl joins Paul McCartney at Glastonbury, 2022
You’d be feeling pretty chuffed if you were standing in the crowd watching Paul McCartney play headline the Pyramid stage. Not only had you blagged some Glastonbury tickets, but you were now watching the legend that is Sir Paul up on stage. Imagine, then, the excitement you’d feel when Foo Fighters’ frontman David Grohl then walked out.
The duo sang The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There and Wings’ Band On The Run together. “This guy flew in especially to do this,” said McCartney. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Bruce Springsteen, a longtime friend of McCartney’s, joined the musicians on stage.
Coldplay bring out Alan Partridge at Wembley, 2022
For some, there literally could be no better surprise than a special appearance from Alan Partridge. For others, having British comedian Steve Coogan’s character join Coldplay during the penultimate night of their Wembley Arena residency made for an odd addition – particularly as the rumour on the night had been that Beyoncé might pop up. But we are in the first group.
Partridge, who was wearing a red tracksuit, and who was also joined by musician Jacob Collier, covered Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill and ABBA’s Knowing Me, Knowing You with the British rock band.
Backstreet Boys brought on Drake, Toronto 2022
Drake and the Backstreet Boys – two artists that aren’t usually put in the same sentence. But that was until July, when the rapper joined the beloved American boy band on stage in his hometown Toronto.
They performed the group’s 1999 hit, I Want It That Way, but not before Drake shared a heartfelt speech about the song. He said: “At my bar mitzvah, for the first time in my life, this girl I was in love with came up to me while one of the greatest songs in the world was playing, and she asked me if I would dance with her.
“It was the first time I ever felt acknowledged and it was the first time I ever felt like I had a shot at being cool... And by the way, if she could see me now!” The band intertwined small samples of Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home throughout the song.
Lily Allen joins Olivia Rodrigo, Glastonbury 2022
On the same weekend as Glastonbury, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning that the right to have an abortion was no longer protected by the US constitution. At dozens of performances at the Somerset festival, musicians and artists spoke about the decision: Billie Eilish said she couldn’t “bear to think about it” while Megan Thee Stallion said: “Texas really embarrassing me right now — y’all know that’s my home state... And I want to have it on the record that the motherf**king hot girls and the hot boys do not support this bulls**t that y’all campaigning for.”
One of the clearest responses was from Olivia Rodrigo, who brought out British act Lily Allen. It was, arguably, an odd pairing – Allen is 37 years old, Rodrigo is 19, and you can’t necessarily imagine that the duo are friends. However, fans loved it as the artists sang Allen’s F**k You, dedicating it to the five members of the Supreme Court who had voted to revoke the 1973 landmark ruling.
Rodrigo said: “Today is a very special day because it’s actually my first Glastonbury and I’m sharing the stage with Lily, which is the biggest dream come true... But I’m also equally as heartbroken over what happened in America yesterday... I’m devastated and terrified, so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this.”
Taylor swift joins HAIM on stage, London 2022
Another major moment for Swift fans this year was once again in London. This time, during HAIM’s O2 concert in July. The band, who are good friends with Taylor, were playing the song Gasoline, before Alana interrupted the rendition.
“We can’t play London without bringing out a special guest,” she said. “Because not only is this person I’m about to bring out, the most incredible singer, songwriter, producer, f**king amazing person all around, she’s one of our close friends... one of our bestest friends....” she said, before Swift came on stage.
After singing Gasoline (the 2020 track from the group’s third studio album, Women in Music, Pt. III, which includes a feature from Swift) together the musicians then played a mash-up of Swift’s Love Story.