On this day back in 1966, The Beatles played their last commercial concert in Candlestick Park — right outside San Francisco. And can you blame them? If you’ve ever listened to those early live concerts, they are mostly just girls screaming. Also, and I don’t want to hammer this too hard, the music isn’t that great. Given the environment, you can’t exactly complain. Their voices sound like they are blown out — especially John’s. And most of those early songs don’t do that much for me.
They had the opportunity to stop performing and it was a good idea to do it. Of course, I’ve never cared that much for live popular music. Jazz is a different matter where any given performance — wherever it occurs — can be something very special: unique. A good example of this is Flamenco Sketches from Kind of Blue. The first take of it (which was put at the end of a later release of the album), just isn’t quite right. That’s jazz.
But with pop music, the songs are all set. There is very little interaction between the performers. And guitar solos? Maybe — sometimes. But certainly The Beatles were not better live. In fact, if you ask me, Paul was the only interesting musician of the bunch. John and George were capable. And Ringo was and still is a joke.
But here’s the performance. I don’t recommend it:
And before any fans complain: it did say “last commercial concert.”