50 Years of Stadium Rock, from the Beatles to Springsteen


The Wall Street Journal has a great story slated to be in tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) paper about the historic Beatles concert at Shea Stadium 50 years ago in August, 1965.

While I enjoy several Beatles songs, I certainly would not consider myself a Beatles fan. But after reading the story, it makes me realize what a tremendous impact they had on the music industry.

Prior to their 55,000 seats sellout at Shea, the biggest concert prior to that had been Elvis playing at venues half that size.

No one knew if the concert would sellout, what the logistics of such a concert should be, what type of security was necessary, and I am sure there were a host of other unknowns.

But it worked and paved the way for all the great stadium concerts that have been performed over the past 50 years.

I also thought the most interesting fun fact about the concert was that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were there; I’m sure such an event got them thinking about what they could do in such a setting.

One other fun fact – the Beatles played 12 songs, performing for a total of just 37 minutes. My guess is that if a headliner did something like that today, Twitter would be overwhelmed with millions of nasty comments about such a show.

Thankfully, we’ve got bands like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who routinely play for over two and a half hours, with a record-setting four hour concert in Helsinki in 2012, when Bruce was 62 years old!

Stadium rock has come a long way in 50 years, but we have the Beatles to thenk for staring the phenomenon.


Leave a Reply