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The Beatles live: Convention Hall, Philadelphia

The Beatles performed before an audience of 12,037 at the Convention Hall, part of the Philadelphia Civic Center.

Poster for The Beatles at the Convention Hall, Philadelphia, 2 September 1964

Also on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon. Henry joined the tour on this date, replacing The Righteous Brothers who had complained to Brian Epstein that their music was drowned out by the audience’s cheers for The Beatles.

The Righteous Brothers were on stage singing You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, when we came hovering over in this sodding big Chinook. All the people were up in the stands, pointing up to the sky, screaming and shouting, paying not a blind bit of notice to The Righteous Brothers – which pissed them off a little. In fact, they got so pissed off that they decided to leave the tour. Righteous indignation.

The Beatles performed the standard 12-song set which they retained for most of 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’.

A few days before the concert there were race riots in Philadelphia. To The Beatles’ disgust, the audience at the Convention Hall was all-white. The concert was broadcast live on local radio.

The art deco hall was built in 1931, and was located at 3400 Civic Center Blvd, on the edge of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. It was demolished in 2005.

Last updated: 24 January 2024
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