San Francisco • Wednesday, August 19, 1964

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1964 US & Canada Tour
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San Francisco
Cow Palace

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The Beatles took America by storm during their famous first visit, wowing the millions who watched them during their historic television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. But after the first great rush of stateside Beatlemania, the Beatles promptly returned to Europe, leaving their American fans to make do with mere records. By late summer of that same year, however, having put on an unprecedented and still unmatched display of pop-chart dominance during their absence, the Beatles finally returned. On August 19, 1964, more than six months after taking the East Coast by storm, the Fab Four traveled to California to take the stage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco for opening night of their first-ever concert tour of North America.

Although in retrospect it would seem a laughable underestimation of their drawing power in America, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein chose venues like the 17,000-seat Cow Palace for the 1964 tour expressly because he feared that the Beatles might not sell out large sports stadiums like San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, where they would play their final official concert in 1966. Suffice it to say that the Beatles had no difficultly filling the Cow Palace, which was packed with 17,130 screaming fans when the group bounded to the stage shortly after 9:00 p.m. on this day in 1964 and launched into “Twist And Shout.” […]

At other stops on the tour, the Beatles’ performances would last approximately 33 minutes, but the show that night in San Francisco lasted some five minutes longer—not because of any difference in the Beatles’ performance, but because of police intervention to stem the growing pandemonium. Within the first few seconds of the first song that night, at least one radio journalist traveling with the Beatles had been trampled to the ground along with a young female fan who broke a leg in the melee. And thanks to an offhand comment  by George Harrison about the group’s favorite candy in the days leading up to the show, the Beatles themselves were pelted with flying jelly beans throughout that night’s set. Though John, Paul, George and Ringo were uninjured, they left the Cow Palace that night by ambulance after their limousine was swarmed by berserk fans. It was a scene that would become familiar to them as they continued on their first historic tour of America in the months ahead.

From The Beatles Bible:

[…] All 17,130 tickets sold out, and the venue was almost full by 7pm, an hour prior to The Beatles’ set. Gate receipts amounted to $91,670. Of this the group took away $47,600 gross.

The other acts on the bill, and throughout the tour, were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, The Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon. Showtime was 8pm, and The Beatles took to the stage at 9.20pm wearing dark blue suits. […]

British pop group the Beatles, (L-R) George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Paul McCartney, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), and Ringo Starr listen to questions at a press conference, San Francisco, California, August 1964.
British pop group the Beatles, (L-R) George Harrison (1943 – 2001), Paul McCartney, John Lennon (1940 – 1980), and Ringo Starr listen to questions at a press conference, San Francisco, California, August 1964.

Pending question regarding the setlist : Was “Till There Was You” or “Things We Said Today” ?

Last updated on April 14, 2019

Cow Palace

This was the 1st concert played at Cow Palace.

A total of 5 concerts have been played there • 1964Aug 19th1965Aug 31st (2pm show)Aug 31st (Evening show)1976Jun 13thJun 14th

Setlist for the concert

The setlist for this concert is incomplete, or we have not be able to confirm in an accurate way that this was the setlist. If you have any clue, pls let us know and leave a comment.




Can't Buy Me Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album Available on Live Anthology V (1964)


If I Fell

Written by Lennon - McCartney



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Debra Comstock 4 years ago

I was there. My dad took me. I had a bag of jelly beans to throw. From the moment The Beatles took the stage, all hell broke loose. The screams were so loud, you couldn’t hear the music. All my dad could do was laugh. I threw my jelly beans. Who knows who I hit. I screamed too, but I was too young to know why I was screaming.

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

Awesome memories, thanks for sharing, Debra!!

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