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Paul McCartney has been on multiple worldwide tours, whether with The Beatles, Wings, or his solo career. McCartney most likely has thousands of fantastic performances he remembers, but he said his most memorable performance was when The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium

The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium on their second U.S. tour

The Beatles attend a press conference in New York before performing at Shea Stadium
The Beatles (Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison) | Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1965, The Beatles went on their second U.S. tour, taking them across the country. The highlight of this tour was a performance at Shea Stadium in New York City. The band performed for a crowd of 55,000 people, the largest concert for the group at that time. 

The concert was captured in a fifty-minute-long documentary that premiered on BBC1. The documentary was shown in cinemas in the United States, giving many fans a way to either relive the experience or see it for the first time. The Beatles returned to Shea in 1966, and in 2008, Paul McCartney performed with Billy Joel at the last concert before it closed. 

Paul McCartney’s most memorable performance was The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert

In an interview with Timeout, Paul McCartney shared why The Beatles’ performance at Shea Stadium was so memorable. The band’s performance at Shea was the first major stadium concert, and McCartney recalled being overwhelmed by the massive crowd and the ear-piercing noise they were making. The “Let it Be” singer said they could barely hear the music over the crowd noise. 

“That was really the first big stadium gig for music. No one had ever done that before, but we were able to draw that many people. I think there were 56,000. It was hysterical from our point of view because the fans were so crazy, we couldn’t really hear anything we were doing. It was a first, and was a forerunner of all the big stadium shows that have happened since. We had such a laugh, there was nowhere to go but just to laugh hysterically, so I think that made it very memorable. It really was crazy. You couldn’t hear a thing, it was just like playing in the middle of a billion seagulls, it was quite a noise.”

The fab four stopped touring in 1966


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Despite Shea Stadium being such an enjoyable experience, Paul McCartney and The Beatles stopped touring in 1966. Their final paid performance took place at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. While many were surprised by this decision, it was a unanimous one that the fab four agreed on. According to Rolling Stone, McCartney said the group was no longer having fun doing these gigs. 

“It wasn’t fun anymore. And that was the main point: We’d always tried to keep some fun in it for ourselves,” McCartney explained. “In anything you do, you have to do that, and we’d been pretty good at it. But even now, America was beginning to pall because of the conditions of the tour, and because we’d done it so many times. So by Candlestick Park, it was like, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but this is probably our last gig.’”