When the Beatles Played in Liverpool for the Final Time
Although the Beatles gave up the road for good in the summer of 1966, their last performance in their hometown took place more than eight months beforehand, on Dec. 5, 1965. That night, they played the Empire Theatre in the heart of Liverpool.
Beatles Bible says that 40,000 applications for tickets were received for the two shows at the Empire, which seats 2,550 people. The setlist for the two gigs were identical, with 11 songs played. Two were from the recently released Rubber Soul, three could originally be found on Help! and five – "I Feel Fine," "She's a Woman," "We Can Work It Out," "Day Tripper" and "I'm Down" – were non-LP singles or b-sides. The 11th, "Baby's in Black" appeared on Beatles for Sale.
Fans in attendance at the late show also got an early glimpse of Paul McCartney when he sat in on drums with the Koobas, a Liverpool opening band that covered "Dizzy Miss Lizzy."
The Beatles had appeared at the venue several times over the years, including three concerts in 1963 and auditions for TV Star Search in 1957 and 1959, when they were known, respectively, as the Quarrymen and Johnny and the Moondogs. They lost on both occasions.
To commemorate the occasion, a bronze statue of the group walking down the street was unveiled on Dec. 5, 2015 at Pier Head. "Talk to anyone in or outside the city about our history and you can guarantee the Beatles will get a mention," Deputy Mayor Ann O'Byrne said at the ceremony, "so it feels right that this sculpture of these iconic men stands proudly on our iconic waterfront."
John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, was also part of the ceremony. "The statue stands in loving memory of the best band in the world," she said. "The band that leapt from the Cavern stage to worldwide recognition."
The Beatles, Empire Theater Liverpool, Dec. 5, 1965 Setlists
"I Feel Fine"
"She's a Woman"
"If I Needed Someone"
"Baby's in Black"
"We Can Work It Out"
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