Then and now

On Feb. 11, 1964, The Fab Four performed their first concert in America to a packed crowd of more than 8,000 screaming fans, mostly teenagers, on a blustery, snowy night in the nation's capital. Just two nights after their introduction to the country on The Ed Sullivan Show, the foursome rocked the Washington Coliseum with 12 of their hits, opening with Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven and closing with Little Richard's signature hit Long Tall Sally. Since the Beatles performed, the arena hosted many sporting events and concerts, including Bob Dylan and The Temptations. Since its glory days in the 1960s, the arena served as a garbage transfer station and now a crammed parking lot for commuters' cars. Except for a small section in the upper level, almost all of the seating is gone, the concrete stairways crumbling. But on Tuesday night, 50 years to the exact day when John, Paul, George and Ringo bounded onto the boxing-ring stage in the center of the coliseum, the D.C. Preservation League and Douglas Development hope to rekindle the excitement. Beatlemania, one of the notable Beatles tribute bands, will perform the original set-list in a celebration called Yesterday & Today. The parked cars will be replaced by a stage to remember once more the magic that occurred there 50 years ago.

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