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.More »