Live: Washington Coliseum

On February 11th 1964, after their triumphant appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show two days before, the Beatles took a train from New York to Washington DC for their first American concert. They were forced to travel by rail as a snowstorm on the east coast had grounded all planes.

2,000 fans greeted the Beatles when they arrived at Washington's Union Station. Later they checked into the Shoreham Hotel, where they booked the entire seventh floor to avoid the frenzy.

That night they traveled to the Washington Coliseum. Over 8,000 screaming fans (mostly girls) packed the boxing arena to see the Beatles perform. Ringo's drum kit was rotated 180 degrees after a few songs so everyone got a turn seeing the band.

After fans read a newspaper report suggesting the Beatles were fond of jelly beans, the stage was pelted with them.

Concert photographs by Mike Mitchell. 

Set list   

  1. Roll Over Beethoven
  2. From Me to You  
  3. I Saw Her Standing There
  4. This Boy
  5. All My Loving
  6. I Wanna Be Your Man
  7. Please Please Me
  8. Till There Was You
  9. She Loves You
  10. I Want to Hold Your Hand
  11. Twist and Shout
  12. Long Tall Sally
The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

George Harrison at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

George Harrison at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

Paul McCartney at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

Paul McCartney at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

The Beatles giving a press conference at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

Fans prepare for the Beatles' first American concert at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

Fans prepare for the Beatles' first American concert at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964. 

The Beatles at the Washington Colisuem, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles at the Washington Colisuem, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

John Lennon at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.

John Lennon at the Washington Coliseum, February 11th 1964.