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George Harrison live: Seattle Center Arena, Seattle

The second date of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s 1974 North American tour took place at the Seattle Center Arena in Seattle, Washington, USA, on 4 November 1974.

The 30-date tour was to promote Harrison’s Dark Horse album and Dark Horse Records label, and took in 45 concerts in 26 cities. It was the first North American tour by a former Beatle, and Harrison’s first live performance since the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971.

Harrison’s opening instrumental piece was beautiful: the fullest, finest explosion of rock ‘n’ roll that I think I have ever heard. Harrison’s voice was at best raspy. ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ developed into a hectic jam session that thundered through the audience. Tragically, Shankar’s beautiful music was wasted on a noisy minority of meatheads… George Harrison’s concert tour will be a successful, well-remembered entry in rock history.
DP Bond
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Harrison’s band included Billy Preston on vocals, keyboards, organ, and clavinet; Robben Ford on guitars and vocals; Tom Scott and Jim Horn on saxophone and flute; Chuck Findley on trumpet and flute; Willie Weeks on bass guitar; Andy Newmark on drums; Emil Richards on marimba and percussion; and Kumar Shankar on percussion and vocals. Jim Keltner joined the tour midway through on 27 November.

Ravi Shankar’s orchestra featured Shankar on sitar; Lakshmi Shankar on vocals and swarmandal; Alla Rakha on tabla; TV Gopalkrishnan on vocals, mridangam, and khanjira; Hariprasad Chaurasia on bansuri; Shivkumar Sharma on santoor and vocals; Kartick Kumar on sitar; Sultan Khan on sarangi; Gopal Krishan on vichitra veena and vocals; L Subramaniam on South Indian violin; Satyadev Pawar on North Indian violin; Rijram Desad on pakavaj, dholki, nagada, huduk, and duff; Kamalesh Maitra on tabla tarang, duggi tarang, and madal tarang; Harihar Rao on kartal, manjira, dholak, gubgubbi, and vocals; and Viji Shankar on tambura and vocals.

In Vancouver most of the audience were polite for Ravi Shankar and his 15-member troupe. A little itchy, maybe, and possibly thinking they’d rather be scoring a hot dog or hearing more Harrison, but – polite. It was in Seattle that Shankar and his orchestra finally broke through. The song was ‘Dispute And Violence’, introduced by Harrison with the note, ‘otherwise known as jazz.’

Like many of Shankar’s pieces, ‘Dispute And Violence’ was a sometimes loose, sometimes tight fusion of various forms of Eastern and Western music — folk, classical and spiritual Indian; rock, jazz and even big-band swing. There was Indian scat-shouting, trilling and jabbering, representing dispute; squeaking reeds and flutes and a Don Ellis brass for measures of violence; and Andy Newmark’s drums, Emil Richards’s kitchenware percussion and Alla Rakha’s tabla setting a steady battle tempo. Shankar at the podium, arms flailing, index fingers dipping and pointing, took it all to a victorious, symphonic, last-stomp halt.

Ben Fong-Torres
Rolling Stone, 19 December 1974

Concert setlist

Dark Horse Tour dates

Last updated: 4 January 2024
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  1. MIHS 76 Sunday 31 March 2024

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