50 years later, Beatles still rockin’ Vegas Strip

Fifty years after Beatlemania washed ashore on U.S. soil, The Beatles’ musical influence has not waned. Even some of the most youthful artists today credit the Beatles for being a major influence on their work.

The Beatles perform at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Aug. 20, 1964. Photo: Globe Press/ZUMA/MCT

A few of the acrobats from Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE show performed Sunday night during a 50th anniversary special honoring The Beatles’ performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” – their first live TV appearance in the United States. The special (which aired on CBS, the same network on which The Beatles originally played to the American viewing public) also was performed in the same studio – today home to the David Letterman Show. On Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles performed to some 70 million people across the U.S.

Six months later, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour, the shaggy-headed English lads performed two sold-out shows Aug. 20, 1964 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. They stayed at the Sahara hotel – today the future home of SLS Las Vegas hotel.

A crazed mob of fans — mostly teenage girls — forced the band to stay in their hotel room for the majority of their stay.

Tickets to the two performances ranged from $2.20 for the cheapest balcony seats to $5.50 for the best seats in the house. Adjusted for inflation, the good seats would have cost $41.33 in 2013 dollars.

For those of us who missed the iconic pop group’s visit to the States, Vegas.com offers some “Help!” to get your Beatles’ fix.

Characters from LOVE by Cirque du Soleil.

LOVE by Cirque du Soleil – OK, so this one is a gimme. But what makes this show truly great, aside from the acrobatics, fantastical dance numbers and colorful characters, is that the music being performed is actually The Beatles. Not a tribute, not a cover – but The Beatles music performed as they perhaps imagined. The Mirage, in keeping with the Beatles theme, also offers the Revolution Lounge and a store dedicated to the Beatles. Performances are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Tickets start at $121.

The Beatles Revolution Lounge at the Mirage is both a bar (The Abbey Road bar is open daily from noon to 4 a.m.) and a nightclub. Revolution, smaller than the typical Vegas nightclub, hints at the Beatles’ psychedelic phase through contemporary design and decor all without being overtly cheesy. Don’t expect to hear Beatles’ songs though, unless a DJ mixes them into a track.

B – A Tribute to the Beatles takes audiences on a trip through the Fab Four’s musical career, including a tip of the hat to Ed Sullivan, who welcomed the Beatles to America on his TV show. Overall, audiences enjoy this Beatles tribute show, which offers live music and Beatles impersonators, commenting that the performance is “fab” and “the 1960s all over again.” Performances are at 5:30 p.m. nightly at Planet Hollywood. Tickets start at $40.

Beatles memorabilia on display at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Erik Kabik.

The Hard Rock Hotel, just off the Strip on Harmon Avenue, has a Beatles memorabilia case on display near the Dragon Salon in the HRH Tower. Souvenir apparel paying homage to the Fab Four can be viewed, as can other collectibles, such as books, key chains, a Beatles wig and toys.

The mopped-top group stayed at the Sahara Hotel, soon-to-open SLS Las Vegas. Whether you’ll be able to book the room where Paul, Ringo, George and John stayed is not yet known.


The Beatles Las Vegas show