Beatles – Concert At Washington Coliseum (Misterclaudel MCCD-151/152/153)

Concert At Washington Coliseum (Misterclaudel MCCD-151/152/153)

Washington Coliseum, Washington, DC – February 11th, 1964

Disc 1 (61:02):  Cinema trailer.  FILM SOURCE:  Introduction & tuning, 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.  VIDEO SOURCE:  Introduction, From Me To You, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, All My Loving, Please Please Me, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Twist And Shout, Long Tall Sally.  MAYSLES AUDIENCE SOURCE:  Roll Over Beethoven, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, She Loves You (voice over).  PATHE AUDIENCE SOURCE:  Roll Over Beethoven.  STEREO MIX:  Roll Over Beethoven, From Me To You, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You.  PRESS CONFERENCE:  At The JFK Airport 7th February 1964

DVD ONE:  WASHINGTON D.C. CONCERT:  introduction & tuning, 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, Long Tall Sally, outroduction.  FILM ARCHIVES:  Video Source, Audience Shot, News Film #1, News Film #2, Color 8mm, Multi Angled, Press Conference On Stage, Cinema Trailer, Auction Sampler, 16mm Film Raw, 16mm Alternate Reel (unsliced), Samples & Trailer

DVD TWO:  “THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW” MIAMI REHEARSAL, She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You, I Want To Hold Your Hand.  “CONQUER AMERICA” Beatles Off To America Pathe News, Pop Music News Reel, ITV News, Various Footage, Beatles Arrival at JFK Airport, BBC News Footage, NBC News Footage, More News Footage, Press Conference, Beatles Arrival at Plaza Hotel, Murray the K with The Beatles, NBC News Footage, News Flash “BEATLES HIT U.S.”:  “WHAT’S HAPPENING” 1964 Broadcast, “WHAT’S HAPPENING” 1984 Re-Broadcast, Samples & Trailers

The February 11th, 1964 concert at the Washington Coliseum was the Beatles’ first live American performance after their televised appearance on the CBS Ed Sullivan Show.  They had arrived in D.C. earlier that day by train from New York and that evening they also appeared before a sold-out, over-capacity crowd of 8,000 fans, by one count.  The Beatles played for nearly a half-hour.  Because of the set up in the Coliseum, the Beatles were essentially performing on a boxing ring-type stage, and had to move their equipment around on stage a few times in order to give everyone in the audience a chance to see them.

Not only is this their first live concert in the US, but it captures the group’s fresh and exuberant performance for the first time with a live, American audience.  Music critic Richie Unterberger writes:  “here are the early Beatles at their on-stage best.  They’re more visibly delighted, indeed almost overwhelmed, by the crowd’s enthusiasm here than at any time before or since. 

“Despite the seeming overnight success of their invasion of America, it had in reality been a long hard climb to the top, taking about seven years of diligent work and numerous excruciating setbacks, and also a year or so where they’d made virtually no inroads into the U.S. market despite their mushrooming British super stardom.  This was the payoff, and though the group would get fed up with touring before screaming teenagers within a couple of years, at the Washington Coliseum they were if anything having an even greater time than their admirers….”

About a month later a video tape of this performance was televised via closed circuit television to select movie theaters across the country.  The feed was the CBS film together with separate footage of performances by the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore – was shown in selected U.S. movie theaters as a closed-circuit concert and was billed in advertising as “The Beatles: Direct From Their First American Concert.”

Concert At Washington Coliseumis another volume in Misterclaudel’s Live Chronicle series and collects on one audio and two DVDs all the relevant material surrounding this event.  The audio disc begins with the cinema trailer with the goofy voice-overs “Like, wow, the Beatles! Aren’t they the swingin’, livin’ end! You dig, chick?”  

The film soundtrack follows in good, but very bass heavy quality and cuts out in the middle of “Twist And Shout” eliminating half of that song plus “Long Tall Sally.”  The video soundtrack follows and is in sharp mono.  Unfortunately it is fragmentary with only bits of “This Boy,” “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”  It does contain a complete “Long Tall Sally,” however, making it a valuable document.

The Maysles audience source is also very good but very fragmentary.  “She Loves You” includes a voice over from Albert Maysles describing his experience at the event.  The Pathe source is a short, forty-five second fragment of “Roll Over Beethoven” in poor quality.  The stereo mix is very good quality but a bit distorted and the songs, except for “She Loves You” are in fragments.  The audio disc ends with the famous February 7th, 1964 JFK news conference lasting almost five minutes.

The first disc presents a two source edit.  The bulk is the film source, but the video tape is edited in to complete what’s left of “Twist & Shout” and “Long Tall Sally.”  There are four choices for audio:  Remaster Audio, Original Audio, Extend Restored Audio, and 5.1 ch Surround Audio.  The rest of the disc contains various fragments and new sources, all of which has been out before.  

The second DVD contains the Miami rehearsal for Ed Sullivan, a collection of newsreels and press conferences surrounding their first visit, and two versions of the What’s Happening documentary for the BBC.  This comes packaged in a fat boy jewel case and for a good review and summary of the events surrounding The Beatles’ first concert in the US this is a really nice production worth having. 

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