Written by Emilee Lindner • Photography by Getty Images • April 12, 2017
There have been countless concerts over the history of humanity, but the ones at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium are truly special. From The Beatles' penultimate show in 1966 to Beyoncé's sold-out Formation World Tour stop in 2016, the stadium isn't just home to baseball games -- it's home to iconic music.
Before The Classic West hits the storied stadium this summer with six legendary artists -- Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Doobie Brothers, and Steely Dan — check out these other famous Dodger Stadium gigs. Grab tickets to The Classic West, going down July 15 and 16 in L.A. (along with the Classic East in New York on July 29 and 30) by checking out TheClassic.com.
The Beatles' concert at Dodger Stadium was their penultimate show before they quit touring for good and became a studio band. At the August 28, 1966 concert, they played a set of 11 songs, including "I Feel Fine," "Yesterday" and "Paperback Writer." They were mobbed while leaving the concert, which had the foursome retreating in the Dodger Stadium offices, with multiple decoy limo attempts to clear the fans. Finally, they were escorted out by ambulance.
On Oct. 25 and 26, 1975, Elton John played two sold-out shows at Dodger Stadium. Emmylou Harris and soon-to-be-Eagles-member Joe Walsh served as the openers for the career-defining concerts, which signified just how famous John had gotten with No. 1 hits and albums jam packed into just a few years. (There's a really cool documentary about the shows, if you're interested). Elton hit the stage in a sequined baseball outfit, complete with a sparkly blue Dodgers cap and blue stirrup socks, bringing songs like "Pinball Wizard," "Benny and the Jets," "The Bitch Is Back" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
Fleetwood Mac had the USC Marching Band record parts for their 1979 song "Tusk.” While this wasn't necessarily a traditional concert, fans would revel in the footage from the session for decades after. The USC band still plays the song during games. Lindsey Buckingham wrote the track, and then had the crazy idea of having an actual marching band recreate the riff. They all convened at Dodger Stadium, where the Fleetwood crew oversaw the filming and production. Fleetwood later reunited with the band to record a live version for their The Dance album, and since Fleetwood Mac is performing at The Classic West at Dodgers Stadium, we’re hoping they play "Tusk" once again.
With Michael Jackson's Thriller reigning on the pop charts after its release in 1982, MJ headed out on the road with his brothers for The Jacksons' Victory Tour -- the first time that all the Jackson brothers had toured together, although Jackie was injured for much of the tour. The 1984 trek was named after The Jacksons' album. The concerts lasted from July to December, and at the end of the tour, they played six sold-out shows at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium. At the last show, Michael announced that he would no longer be playing with his brothers.
While Dodger Stadium usually hosts fans of baseball, the world's most famous operatic tenors came together to celebrate a different sport at this legendary concert in 1994. On the eve of the World Cup, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti filled the stadium for their reunion, conducted by Zubin Mehta. An estimated 1.3 billion viewers worldwide watched the televised performance, which included the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus. The recording of the event went platinum in the U.S. and double plantinum in the U.K. Along with performing operatic arias, they took on more modern songs, like "Moon River" and Frank Sinatra's "My Way" -- with Sinatra himself giving them a standing ovation from his spot on the field.
In 1998, KISS headed out on their Psycho Circus Tour, which was their first foray into using 3D effects during their concerts. It was a special tour, but the Dodger Stadium opener was even more special. On that night only -- Halloween -- The Smashing Pumpkins opened for KISS dressed as The Beatles. Unlike the rest of the tour, the band invited real-life circus acts to perform before the Los Angeles show, to go along with the Psycho Circus theme. The concert was streamed online and on the radio.
Madonna's Stick & Sweet Tour touched down in Los Angeles on November 6, 2008, when she pulled off a show with half of her stage unusable. Along with standing up against Proposition 8 (California's gay marriage ban at the time), she also projected a picture of President Barack Obama, who had won his first term just two days earlier. On the more gossipy side, however, Madonna also got famous exes Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears on the same stage -- although at different times. Special guest Spears hopped to her side for "Human Nature," a performance which was later revealed as commentary on Spears' career. Timberlake joined Madonna for their "4 Minutes" duet, which appears on Madge's Hard Candy album.
Paul McCartney made a stop at Dodger Stadium in 2014 for his Out There Tour. The show was extremely unique, since the last time he played the stadium was in 1966 as a member of The Beatles, nearly 48 years earlier.
In 2016, Dodger Stadium was the site of a stop on one of the most massive tours ever: Beyoncé's Formation World Tour. With a 60-foot rotating LED stage (called the Monolith), a bevy of dancers, a treadmill runway, another stage that produced 2,000 gallons of water and, of course, Beyoncé herself, the tour was a huge hit.
Dodger Stadium is set to host another historic musical event: The Classic. Tickets are onside now. The Classic West will see Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Journey, Steely Dan, and Earth, Wind & Fire own the stage during the two-day event on July 15 and 16, 2017.