Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by David Chiu
You can’t blame the Beatles for quitting live performances after their last paid concert together at Candlestick Park from 50 years ago. To have to deal with fans in the audience whose loud screams drown out the music wherever they play, it’s a miracle that the Beatles even got through a show in the first place. And yet the despite the manic hysteria from the stands, the Fab Four sounded unfazed but rather energetic and vibrant in their musicianship. The band’s famed performances at the Hollywood Bowl from 1964 and 1965, which were first released back on record in 1977, have now been reissued to coincide with the upcoming Ron Howard documentary, Eight Days a Week, about the Beatles’ touring years. In addition to the 14 original songs from 1964-1965 that were on the 1977 record, this new set features four previously unreleased tracks “You Can’t Do That,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,” and “Baby’s in Black.” Amidst all the ear-bleeding screaming is the band performing all the smash hits up to that point in their career with letter-perfect precision of the original studio versions: from the electrifying “Twist and Shout” and the barn-storming “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” to the rollicking “A Hard’s Days Night” and “She Loves You.” Other highlights are John Lennon’s witty remarks; Paul ripping it up on “Long Tally Sally”; George Harrison introducing “Things We Said Today” as a “new song”; and Ringo Starr bashing his kit on “Boys” add a unique charm to the proceedings This new release is historic in that the Beatles rarely release live records–thus Live at the Hollywood Bowl captures the band at their peak as a hot concert attraction, in which the music and screams become as one.