It was 56 years ago tonight (February 11th, 1964) that the Beatles played their first American concert, in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Coliseum, in front of 8,092 screaming fans. The group performed in the round, and after every three songs the group and their roadies would switch their equipment to face another side of the audience. Portions of the concert are available on the DVD The Beatles' First U.S. Visit.
The group's set list that night was: “Roll Over Beethoven,” “From Me To You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “This Boy,” “All My Loving,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Please Please Me,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Twist And Shout,” and “Long Tall Sally.”
The late-filmmaker Albert Maysles, who shot the documentary with his brother David, told us that the DVD really captures what was going on at the time: “The film holds up as being totally truthful and authentic. We didn't slight them in any fashion, nor did we create a puff piece. I'm sure that those who were alive, and those who knew the film and saw it — I mean, the Beatles, all of them — felt that, 'Yeah, this is what it was.'”