The Beatles legend played a secret show in New York City

By Jeff Nelson
Updated February 15, 2015 05:30 PM
Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

He’s set to perform at the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show Sunday, but the night before, Paul McCartney surprised fans and A-listers alike with a secret show.

After an SNL rehearsal, the Beatles legend took the stage at Irving Plaza in New York City on Valentine’s Day. During the nearly two-hour set, McCartney played hits from the Beatles’ breakout days (he opened with “Eight Days a Week”) to covers, like Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy.”

And the venue’s balcony was packed with A-listers: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio and Olivia Wilde and husband Jason Sudeikis all hit up the show. And SNL fan favorites – from Kristen Wiig and Steve Martin to Eddie Murphy and Amy Poehler – were also spotted at the gig.

Enjoying the show amidst the A-list crowd was People‘s own Julie Farin.

“It was an amazing show,” she said. “When he did ["My Valentine"], they released rose petals from the ceiling on all of us. It was a really cool effect.”

Farin says the intimate venue (Irving Plaza only fits about 1,000 people at capacity) made the night all the more special.

“To see Paul McCartney in that kind of a small venue is really a treat,” she says. “Standing 30 feet away from him It was a surreal moment.”

After the show, McCartney – who just released the new single “FourFiveSeconds” with Rihanna and Kanye West – took to Twitter to thank concertgoers and give a shout-out to the famous pals: “New York City! Best Valentines Day Ever!”

McCartney, Cooper, and many more stars are expected to make appearances during Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special, which airs on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.