You Told Us: The “Best.Show.Ever” – The Beatles, ’66

Pink concert crowd

Editor’s Note: We recently asked our readers to share memories of their favorite concert experience, aka “Best.Show.Ever.” We’ve gotten some incredible stories — and are always game to hear more (send ’em to: and yours might end up in print on our site). In the meantime, here’s one great tale that came over the transom.

The very first rock concert I attended was on Aug. 12, 1966. The Beatles at the  International Amphitheater, Chicago. Although I saw many other great concerts in my lifetime, none would match the sheer awe I felt that evening. The electricity in the air was incredible. When the Beatles hit the stage, I don’t think any of us were prepared for the noise level of the crowd. The band plugged in quickly, but George’s Vox Super Beatle amp was not working. Two men quickly rolled it off the edge of the stage where it hit the concrete and broke to pieces. They had a replacement amp directly behind the bad one, ready to go. As the Beatles began the show, everyone on the main floor where I was stood on top of their folding chair seats. I remember there was no PA system in the stage area. They were singing through the house PA, which was designed for cattle auctions. The vocals hit your ears a second or two before the music reached you, as in those days the amps were not mic’d. It didn’t matter. It was the most amazing musical experience I’ve ever witnessed!

-Woody Johnson

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5 comments on “You Told Us: The “Best.Show.Ever” – The Beatles, ’66

  1. John Smistad

    Whoa. This was the last month of their final concert tour ever. AWSUM!!

  2. Unfortunately, never saw The Beatles, but my most memorable concert was Paul McCartney, December 1989, Chicago.
    I think it was called Rosemont Horizon. It was really cold that day. I was offered $1000. For my tickets, but no way would I sell them.
    Great show! Figure of Eight was spectacular!


    Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field 2015? 2016?
    Bruce Springsteen “The River” tour St. Louis 2018?

  4. Larry Smiley

    I saw Donovan in 1967 for his Flower to a Garden concert. He had stand up bass, a drummer, a percussionist, a sax/flute player, and keyboard player who played grand piano, Hammond organ, and harpsichord. Donovan was the only guitar player and he played acoustic. A lot of the songs were very orchestral and many were jazzy. Halfway through the concert a string quartet joined the ensemble. Even as a folky, Donovan always attracted a listening audience. His females attendees did not scream, but listened to his every word.This was my first encounter with serious music. Suddenly pop music was elevated to a thinking media.Donovan sang some of the most intelligent lyrics. Sure he had his fun and frolic songs too, but the serious ones and the sophisticated music won me over.

  5. Bob Dylan 2001 sa n francisco. it was not long after 9/11 and everyone was unnerved. Not having seen him since 1965 his songs brought back my youth. as well as the changed world we had now experienced. lots of tears. The other one is Beatles 1964. Finally to breath the air as my idols!

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