Survival Tour

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Survival Tour 1979
Tour by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Start date late October 1979
End date January 6, 1980
Legs 1
Shows 41 in North America
3 in the Caribbean
2 in Africa
46 in total
Bob Marley & The Wailers concert chronology
Babylon by Bus Tour
Survival Tour
Uprising Tour

The Survival Tour was a concert tour organised to support the album Survival by Bob Marley & The Wailers. It was Marley's second-to-last tour.

The tour started in Boston in late October 1979, and ended in Libreville, Gabon, on January 6, 1980. During 1979, which was the International Year of the Child, the band made appearances at a few benefit concerts for children, as was the case on August 10, 1979, in Jamaica, prior to the Survival Tour, and on December 15, 1979 in Nassau, Bahamas. The tour took place mainly in the United States, but also included performances in the Caribbean and in Africa.

The performance in Santa Barbara, California on November 25 has been released on VHS and DVD as "Bob Marley - The Legend Live". The performance in Oakland, featuring Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones) in the encore five days later, had also been taped on video by Bill Graham Presents, but hasn't been released yet.

Most concerts in the United States and in Africa were opened by soul and R&B singer Betty Wright. Furthermore the Survival Tour was the only tour the band included a horn section, featuring Glen Da Costa on saxophone and David Madden on trumpet. After the concerts in Gabon the band returned to Jamaica to record the Uprising album and to make trips to Brazil and to Zimbabwe to perform at its independence celebrations on April 18, 1980, before kicking off the Uprising Tour in Europe by the end of May.

While on tour Marley performed for the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, and in Africa.


The standard setlist of the tour mostly looked like the following:

  • "Positive Vibration"
  • "Wake Up And Live"
  • "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)"
  • "Concrete Jungle"
  • "I Shot The Sheriff"
  • "Running Away" / "Crazy Baldhead" (medley)
  • "Ambush In The Night"
  • "The Heathen"
  • "War" / "No More Trouble"
  • "Africa Unite"
  • "One Drop"
  • "Exodus"
  • "No Woman, No Cry"
  • "Jammin'"
  • "Is This Love?"
  • "Get Up, Stand Up"

At the beginning of the tour which started with seven shows at the Apollo Theater in New York City, Marley varied the setlists much more than later on the tour. Most shows had a standard setlist which closes with "Exodus", and an encore set which usually ended with "Get Up, Stand Up". From show to show sometimes an additional song was edged in the middle or attached at the end of the setlist, like "Ride Natty Ride", "Natty Dread", "Lively Up Yourself", "Roots, Rock, Reggae", "Zimbabwe", "Stir It Up", "Kinky Reggae", "So Much Trouble In The World", "Burnin' And Lootin'", "Natural Mystic", "So Much Things To Say", "Rat Race", "Rebel Music" and "Survival". Live performances of each of these songs happened very rarely during the tour.

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue Notes
October 1979 Boston, Massachusetts United States Harvard Stadium with Stevie Wonder
October 1979 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden
October 25, 1979 Apollo Theater 2 shows
October 26, 1979 2 shows
October 27, 1979 2 shows
October 28, 1979
October 30, 1979 Hamilton, New York Cotterell Court
November 1, 1979 Toronto, Ontario Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
November 2, 1979 Montréal, Québec Montreal Forum
November 3, 1979 Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Civic Centre
November 4, 1979 Burlington, Vermont United States Memorial Hall 2 shows
November 7, 1979 7 PM Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Civic Center Philadelphia Convention Hall and Civic Center where? with Betty Wright; benefit concert for the Black Music Association
November 10, 1979 Detroit, Michigan Masonic Temple with King Sundiata Keita
November 11, 1979 Madison, Wisconsin Dane County Coliseum
November 12, 1979 Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Auditorium
November 13, 1979 Chicago, Illinois Uptown Theatre
November 15, 1979 Minneapolis, Minnesota Northrop Auditorium
November 17, 1979 Edmonton, Alberta Canada Kinsmen Fieldhouse
November 19, 1979 Portland, Oregon United States Paramount Theatre
November 20, 1979 Seattle, Washington Paramount Theatre 2 shows
November 21, 1979 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada Pacific Coliseum
November 23, 1979 Los Angeles, California United States Pauley Pavilion
November 24, 1979 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena
November 25, 1979 Santa Barbara, California Santa Barbara Bowl
November 27, 1979 Los Angeles, California The Roxy Theater benefit for Sugar Ray Robinson's foundation
November 30, 1979 Oakland, California Oakland Auditorium Arena with Ronnie Wood and Donald Kinsey
December 1, 1979 Davis, California Freeborn Hall
December 2, 1979 Santa Cruz, California Civic Auditorium 2 shows
December 5, 1979 Denver, Colorado Denver University Arena
December 6, 1979 Lawrence, Kansas Hoch Auditorium[citation needed] Blue Riddim Band opened
December 7, 1979 Dallas, Texas  ?
December 8, 1979 Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Public Services Association Grounds
December 9, 1979 Trinidad  ?
December 10, 1979 Nashville, Tennessee United States Memorial Gymnasium
December 11, 1979 New Orleans, Louisiana  ?
December 12, 1979 Atlanta, Georgia Fox Theatre
December 13, 1979 Tampa, Florida Jai Alai Fronton
December 14, 1979 Birmingham, Alabama Brothers Music Hall
December 15, 1979 Nassau Bahamas Queen Elizabeth Sports Center benefit concert for Bahamian children
January 4, 1980 Libreville Gabon Gymnase Omnisport Bongo
January 6, 1980

See also[edit]