The Beatles Played Their Final Concert 46 Years Ago at Candlestick Park -- And You Can Listen to the Whole Thing

Categories: Anniversaries

Forty-six years ago today, on Aug. 29, 1966, the Beatles played the final live concert of their careers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Though many of the band's most timeless songs lay ahead of them, this Bay Area live date would mark the end of the Beatles as a touring entity. Freeing themselves from the burdens of live performance allowed the Liverpool foursome to become ever more daring and experimental in their studio work, which had already begun with the then-three-week-old Revolver, and would continue with the White Album, and, of course, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

While the band members of the band apparently knew it would be their final live show, the audience didn't. Listening to bootlegs of the set, one is struck by the tsunami of screaming fans in the audience, and how here, in 1966, the Beatles still seemed very much in the the early, heartthrob phase of their career. (Of course, this was arguably the second or third or even fourth phase for the band; the Fab Four had honed their live chops on obscure stages in Hamburg and elsewhere long before packs of dazed teenagers followed their every move.)

After the jump, we've gathered some YouTube footage of the band's arrival in San Francisco and the crowd action at Candlestick -- along with the full bootlegged audio of the 11 songs played back in August '66. The recording is rough, echoey, and filled with teenage screams, but it's still worth a listen.

First, here's some (silent) footage of the Beatles arriving in San Francisco and of Candlestick Park fans before the show:

Now, here are YouTube vids giving a full (admittedly rough) audio-only recording of the concert:

If anyone's reading this who was there, we'd love to hear your recollections in the comments.

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My seat was in the first row of the lower reserved behind the visitor dugout. The cost of the ticket was $5.50.  It was cold, an armored car came in from the right field bleacher seats and parked near the Giants dugout.  Of course everyone thought The Beatles were inside, but they were not.  It was a ruse to see if the crowd would converge on the vehicle.  Shortly thereafter, they emerged from the Giants dugout and sprinted to the stage at second base that was surrounded by a chain link fence.


They started their set at 9:30 and were done by 10.  No encore.


Since it became the last concert in the U.S., it is one of the few significant events in my lifetime that I actually attended.




Their last live concert performance was atop the Abbey Road studios in late January 1969.They also performed "All You Need Is Love" semi-live to an audience of 400 million via TV in June 1967. Semi-live in the respect that parts of it were pre-recorded; but the vocals and some of the instruments were very much live.


Just sayin'.


It was my first concert.  I was 13.  My oldest sister bought my ticket.  Actually, Chris, we were far away from the stage.  The stage was in the middle of the field.  We couldn't really see their faces without binoculars.  I don't know how much the closer tickets cost.  

I wasn't one of the screamers, but I was shaking a lot.  Partly from the cold and partly from the excitement.


Chris Elsner
Chris Elsner

My mom was there. I think she had a pretty good was $6.50. She had to get her ticket out to check. ;)

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