Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL, November 1979 | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL, November 1979

Included here is rare video footage Bob Marley and the Wailers’ performance at Chicago’s Uptown Theater on November 13, 1979 during the Survival Tour.

We are also blessed to have friend of the blog “Pappa Dave” share his memories and photos from this Marley show, which he attended some 33 years ago.

Here is an excerpt from an email that “Pappa Dave” sent us regarding his experience at the show:

“What I do remember vividly, was that Bob never and I mean never stopped moving and dancing through out the whole show. At least that’s what I remember. I got tired just watching him and the show lasted a good hour and a half to two hours.  For the last few years, I’ve played the video of the show on the night of November 13th, in tribute to that special night so many years ago. This year the 13th falls on a Tuesday, just as it did back in 1979.  Thirty three years have passed since then, and I wish I could relive it one more time.”

Here are some short clips which reveal what other songs were played live at the show such as “Survival,” “Get Up Stand Up,” and “Kinky Reggae.”




The radio show I host by the way, is called the ‘Reggae Explosion”. It already had that name, when I became host in June 1989. You can check it on saturday nights at 10pm(cst), at





  1. marco says:

    Great find, Michael
    Photos never before seen
    hat off!

    1. marleyrkives says:

      Thanks Marco. Pappa Dave sent them. They are his personal photos.

  2. marco says: give thanks to you and pappa dave

  3. John says:

    I would have love to be there with my siren

  4. Matt says:

    Hi guys. Was wandering if a full audio of “Survival” was ever recorded live because as far as I’m aware, it was only performed once and at this show. Any idea?

      1. Matt says:

        Thanks Michael. So no “full” version then I assume?

        1. marleyrkives says:

          Yes, the full version was played, however, I have never seen any tape of it nor heard any audio.

  5. pappadave says:

    I’ll have to check the video I have of the show to see if full versions are there or not, can’t remember off the top of my head.

  6. pappadave says:

    Matt and Mike, I’ve checked my copy of the video and it’s the same as the one posted as the full concert. But, I some what suprised if this was the only venue where ‘Survival’ was perfomed live. As this was the ‘Survivors Tour’.

    1. marleyrkives says:

      It is true Dave, “Survival” was played live only once – at the Uptown.

  7. pappadave says:

    Okay, was not aware of that.

  8. Keith Nelms says:

    I was at this show, and what a “Riveting” performance !! Bob never stopped his energetic gyrating, and wildman type moves,, and just when I thought the show was over, he came back out, & played almost an hour more! I’m so glad I snagged my tickets when they went on sale !!! I have seen Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Toots & the Maytals, and by far,, Tuff Gong, Rastaman, Marleyman, is the best Reggae artist,, EVER,, and rates as one of the best concert “Events”(not just a concert) I have ever seen,, & been a part of ! I have been a live concert sound engineer for almost 40 years now,, and the Rhythm section for “The Wailers”,, made me feel “Ja’ Music”,, in my soul,, n’ bones ! The Uptown was vibrating,, to the groove, all night !

  9. Momo says:

    this is the full show

  10. Momo says:

    I meant is this the full show?

    1. marleyrkives says:

      it is not the full show

  11. DA says:

    remember almost getting kicked out for smoking pot……

  12. Tony Sarabia says:

    i was a 17 year old high school kid at that show! a group of us from Oak Park River Forest High School took up half the row ( 6th row center, main floor ) we purchased our tickets at a Ticketron center in a Sears store! I had that same t-shirt, my oldest son used to wear it as a night shirt when he was a toddler, sadly i can’t find it. This show was part party and part religious experience he was so magical! I am one luck guy to have witnessed Bob and the Wailers at such a beautiful ( and now shuttered) historic Chicago theater.

  13. Pappa Dave says:

    Tony, that’s where I also got my ticket-At the Woodfield Mall!

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