George Harrison live: Spectrum, Philadelphia

The 27th date of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s 1974 North American tour took place at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on 16 December 1974.

This was the first of two consecutive nights at the Spectrum. Ravi Shankar did not play due to illness.

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.

Preceded by reams of negative reviews, George Harrison pulled off a surprisingly pleasant victory at The Spectrum. This concert was not the disorganized, self-serving venture portrayed by the national music press on the occasion of the tour’s opening Nov. 2 in Vancouver… Though reluctant to dwell on past glories, the former Beatle now deigns to throw us a bone or four from the halcyon days, including a curiously suitable, jazzed-up rendering of ‘In My Life’. Harrison makes most points with his sweetly weeping guitars, riding the high end of the neck in a glissando of spare, single notes or bluesy, staccato attacks.
Jonathan Takiff
Philadelphia Daily News

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 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.

Concert setlist

Dark Horse Tour dates

Last updated: 4 January 2024
US single release: #9 Dream by John Lennon
George Harrison live: Spectrum, Philadelphia
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Leave a Reply