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Today the boys played two shows at the Circus-Krone-Bau in Munich, Germany. The setlist looked like this:

  • Rock and Roll Music
  • She’s a Woman
  • If I Needed Someone
  • Day Tripper
  • Baby’s in Black
  • I Feel Fine
  • Yesterday
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Nowhere Man
  • Paperback Writer
  • I’m Down

Noticeably absent from this list, as they would be from every other show The Beatles would ever play, are all the songs from Revolver. Most of them are difficult to impossible to play live, and in any case a Beatles show at this point was less a musical event than a tribal ritual.

It seems like The Beatles rehearsed very little, or not at all, for this show, perhaps assuming that no one would be able to hear them anyway. According to The Beatles Bible,

The group’s recent absence from live performance was apparent. George Harrison introduced “Yesterday” as being from “Beatles for Sale,” and “I’m Down” was briefly delayed by an on-stage conference between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Harrison about lyrics in the opening verse. In spite of this, McCartney managed to get each verse wrong.

You can actually make out the music pretty well in the clip that follows, though they do struggle with some of the harmonies, perhaps unable to hear themselves over the din:

And Paul sounds a little flat on “Yesterday”:

I’m not sure whether those men at the side of the stage in white shirts and black ties are security guards or VIPs. They don’t look that happy to be there, but they’re Germans, after all.

Stabilized, perhaps, by sharing a microphone, John and Paul pretty much nail “Baby’s in Black”:

I like the shot of the back of their heads with the audience out of focus in the background. I’m sure that’s very much what it was like for them. The image of The Beatles on display here — relatively clean-cut, besuited young men playing mostly straightforward pop songs — was wildly out of step with the reality. The real Beatles of mid-1966 were drug-gobbling proto-hippies who were about to unleash on the world an album that was going to blow people’s minds. This perhaps explains why they sported Cheshire-cat grins while phoning in a performance that had little to do with who they actually were at the moment.