Live: Convention Center, Las Vegas

Following the previous day's performance in San Francisco, The Beatles flew straight to Las Vegas, where they arrived at 1am.

The Beatles live in Las Vegas, 20 August 1964

Their chartered aeroplane landed at 1am at the Old McCarran Field at McCarran International Airport, from where they were driven to the Sahara Hotel. Two thousand fans defied the city curfew to see them arrive.

The group spent the morning in their 18th floor penthouse suite, before leaving at 2.30pm for a sound check.

Before LA we went and played in Las Vegas, where Liberace visited us. I think the first four rows of that concert were filled up by Pat Boone and his daughters. He seemed to have hundreds of daughters.

There was all kinds of trouble in the States. There was everyone trying to sue us. There were girls trying to get into our rooms so they could sue us for totally made-up things. There was always this very peculiar suing consciousness. I'd never heard about suing people until we went to America.

George Harrison

The Beatles performed two shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center, at 4pm and 9pm, each of which was seen by 8,000 people. Between the two shows the Los Angeles Police Department received a bomb warning, but decided that if they cancelled the second performance the risk of violence by disappointed fans was too great.

The set was the standard one throughout the tour: Twist And Shout, You Can't Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Can't Buy Me Love, If I Fell, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Boys, A Hard Day's Night and Long Tall Sally.

After the second concert The Beatles were advised to stay away from casinos, after police concerns that underage fans would be tempted to follow them.

Also on this day...

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4 responses on “Live: Convention Center, Las Vegas

  1. Jim Butler

    I attended the afternoon performance. My dad was working at the Stardust and got “comp” tickets. I believe they were just a couple of dollars each. The Beatles sang through the PA system and played through their amplifiers. You could not hear the music above the screaming. After all, this was the concert scene in its infancy and things were kind of primitive.

    One last thing. The entertainment director at the Sahara, Stan Irwin, brought the Beatles to town. He said that he did not make any money on the deal and did it for the kids in the community. Things in Las Vegas were a lot different “all those years ago.”

  2. Dan W

    My uncle, a Vegas hotel owner (and world class poker player) got my family tickets to the evening show.

    It was exciting but also a bit of a disappointment. The Beatles played for only about 1/2 hour and like Jim said about the afternoon concert, the little girls (I was about the same age as most of them) screamed so loud it was hard to hear the music. Still, I am happy to have witnessed a part of Beatles history.

  3. Sue Reed

    I was fortunate to attend both shows almost 50 years ago. Four of us went and we were 14 years old at the time. We traveled to Las Vegas with our friend’s older sister who I believe was just 21 so we didn’t have a lot of supervision. My other friend’s father was a reporter with the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona and he got us comp tickets in the second row for the first show. My uncle lived in Las Vegas and got us tickets for the 2nd show in the balcony. We also stayed at the Sahara hotel and saw the Beatles get into their limo to go somewhere. After reading this article it must have been the sound check. We also saw them waving from the penthouse. Naturally we attempted to get up to their floor in the elevator but got caught and ran. While both shows were great, the first was amazing as we were at the right of the stage in row 2. We were right behind an American actress of our time named Connie Stevens and her husband actor James Stacey. As in other descriptions, their equipment was just a PA system and pretty small amplifiers. We were definitely Beatlemanics and I remember crying and screaming when we saw them. One other recollection is the warm up group. It was the Righteous Brothers duo of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield who were popular at the time. To this day I will never know how I talked my parents into going but it was certainly a life experience I will never forget. I still have a box of Beatles memorabilia and know I have a few pictures taken at the show and am going to see if I still have the ticket stubs.

  4. George

    I saw the concert on a whim. I lived in mid-MIssouri at the time and my best pal and I decided to take Route 66 out west and we wound up in Las Vegas. Had no knowledge that the Beatle’s would be playing there at the time, but we scored two great tickets on the floor about twenty rows back on the aisle. I was playing in a cover band at the time and we covered many of the Fab Four’s early tunes so the concert was a surreal experience for me. I wish I would’ve had the foresight to save my ticket stub. Been a Beatle’s fan all of my life as all of my children have. G. Cline, Columbia, MO.

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