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George Harrison live: Chicago Stadium, Chicago

The 19th date of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s 1974 North American tour took place at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 30 November 1974.

There were two shows on this date, in the afternoon and evening.

Harrison’s 30-date tour was to promote his 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.

It finally came together for the George Harrison tour in a huge ice hockey arena in the middle of Chicago’s Westside ghetto. He tried an experiment in front of 18,000 listeners. It meant putting his personal prestige on the line and already the arrows of the critics in other cities had drawn blood… The spotlight turned to Billy Preston who led the band into a rousing version of ‘Will It Go Round In Circles’. George underwent a striking transformation. He had looked nervous and stiff during the previous numbers, but now it was as if a burden was lifted from his shoulders. He became carefree and animated, and was really enjoying himself… George is now the shy ex-Beatle. He is still basically the lead guitar player who prefers to pick out delicious licks from the back of the stage. The Indian part was dazzling and the whole musical ensemble left the stage for intermission to wild cheers… Finishing the set with a rousing ‘What Is Life’, the audience went crazy with happy screams at the conclusion. George, too, looked high as the band rocked out ‘My Sweet Lord’. The building almost rose several feet in the air from the combined happiness of singing audience and rocking musicians.
Don Leyland

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 and Jim Keltner 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.

‘Hallelujah!’ The joyful worshippers repeated it again and again, dancing on their seats. It was a moving conclusion to a splendid concert Saturday by George Harrison and friends in the Chicago Stadium.
Al Rudis
Chicago Sun Times

Concert setlist

Dark Horse Tour dates

Last updated: 4 January 2024
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