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Music Events (more headlines) 01-11-2014

Tommy Roe Set For Return Performance On Half Century Anniversary Of The Beatles' Landmark First Concert In North America

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Following their triumphant debut on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964, The Beatles very first concert in America took place at 8:31 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11, at the Washington Coliseum at 3rd & M Streets, NE. The sell-out show was attended by 8,092 screaming fans, who each paid ticket prices that ranged between $2 and $4. The audience included former Vice President Al Gore, then 16, and 18 year old, press pass wielding photographer Mike Mitchell, whose non-flash beautifully grainy photos of that evening encapsulate the birth of a generation. This opened the door to the 'British Invasion' at the dawn of one of America's most tumultuous eras, and would influence the collective culture to this day.

50 years later, on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, this landmark concert will be reenacted as it occurred a half century ago on site at the historic Uline Arena (later known as The Washington Coliseum), with the iconic performance replicated by tribute band, Beatlemania Now. Opening the concert, as he did a half a century ago, the legendary Tommy Roe will be featured, in a live acoustic performance. Presented by the DC Preservation League and Douglas Development Corporation, tickets are on sale now at www.beatlesyesterdayandtoday.com at $45 for general admission standing tickets and $100 for seating. Doors will open at 6pm; with a selection of goodies from local food trucks and live music performed by Something Wild, an exhibition of Mike Mitchell's original photographs, which will be on sale with proceeds benefitting the DC Preservation League, as well as other surprises. The concert begins at the original time of 8:31 p.m. preceded by a 15-minute historic documentary featuring the history of The Washington Coliseum/Uline Arena from its concept and construction through its current and future incarnation.

Despite a raging east coast snowstorm, shortly before noon on the 11th, The Beatles, legendary DJ Murray the K, and select members of the press arrived at Manhattan's Penn Station and boarded an old Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad sleeper car named the King George headed for Washington, DC. The train ride gave the Beatles and the press an opportunity to interact by the time it pulled into Washington's Union Station at 3:09 p.m. The Beatles opened with "Roll Over Beethoven." The Chiffons, Tommy Roe, the Righteous Brothers, Caravelles, and Jay and the Americans were also on the bill.

When The Beatles climbed onto the stage just at 8:31 p.m. and even before they played a note, fans began screaming and photographers started taking a barrage of photos. The first American crowd also followed the British tradition of throwing jellybeans onto the stage. The screaming was so loud and hysterically persistent throughout the entire concert - and then - about 35 minutes after the Beatles climbed onto the stage, it was over.

In later years the building fell into disrepair-and is currently used as an indoor parking lot. The DC Preservation League included the building in its list of "Most Endangered Places for Washington" in 2003 and filed for landmark protection for the building. In 2006, the Arena was listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and in the National Register of Historic Places the following year. One of Washington's most preeminent developers, Douglas Development purchased the Arena in 2004 and plans to bring the iconic structure back to life as 'The Coliseum."

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