Shows & Schedule

Bob Marley & The Wailers Live at Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA (1980) Final Gig
23 Jul 09:00 PM
Until 23 Jul, 11:45 PM 2h 45m

Bob Marley & The Wailers Live at Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA (1980) Final Gig

Organized by JamFest

Bob Marley & The Wailers' final gig at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1980, holds a significant place in the annals of music history. This concert was the last performance by the legendary reggae icon Bob Marley before his untimely death in May 1981, and it captured the essence of Marley's musical genius and the powerful message of his songs.

I had tickets to see them in Row A, mind you (though I'm not sure if it was the first row or Row 25 if they had double letters). Regardless, that was a Friday, and his last show was on a Tuesday. I missed seeing him by three days. He canceled the Cleveland and then the Philadelphia shows, and presumably everywhere else if there was an extensive tour.

By the time of this concert, Bob Marley had already been diagnosed with the cancer that would eventually take his life. Despite his illness, Marley continued to tour and perform with unwavering energy and passion. The Pittsburgh show was the last stop of the "Uprising" tour, which promoted the band's album of the same name. The tour was particularly notable because "Uprising" featured some of Marley's most spiritually profound and politically charged songs.


The Final Performance

The setlist for the Pittsburgh concert included many of Marley's greatest hits and fan favorites, encapsulating the spirit of his music and his message of unity, love, and resistance against oppression. Songs performed included:

  1. Natural Mystic
  2. Positive Vibration
  3. Burnin' and Lootin'
  4. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
  5. The Heathen
  6. Running Away
  7. Crazy Baldhead
  8. War / No More Trouble
  9. Zimbabwe
  10. Zion Train
  11. No Woman, No Cry
  12. Jammin'
  13. Exodus
  14. Redemption Song
  15. Coming in from the Cold
  16. Could You Be Loved
  17. Is This Love
  18. Work
  19. Get Up, Stand Up

Highlights and Impact

One of the highlights of the concert was the performance of "Redemption Song," which Marley played solo with an acoustic guitar. This song, written during his battle with cancer, is a poignant anthem of hope and liberation. The live rendition at the Stanley Theatre was especially powerful, leaving a lasting impression on those present.

The concert's atmosphere was electrifying, with Marley's charismatic presence and the Wailers' tight musicianship creating an unforgettable experience. The audience's enthusiastic response reflected the deep connection and resonance Marley's music had with people across different backgrounds.


The Pittsburgh concert stands as a testament to Bob Marley's enduring legacy. It was a moment of poignant reflection, celebration, and a final affirmation of the ideals that Marley championed throughout his career. Despite his declining health, Marley's performance was filled with the same vitality and spirit that had made him an international icon.

Recordings of this final show have been cherished by fans and historians alike, serving as a powerful reminder of Marley's impact on music and culture. The concert was later released as part of the album "Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Forever," ensuring that this historic performance continues to inspire and move listeners around the world.

In summary, Bob Marley & The Wailers' final gig at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh was more than just a concert; it was a powerful farewell from one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Marley's ability to perform with such intensity and passion, even in the face of his illness, is a testament to his dedication to his craft and his message. This final performance remains a poignant and inspirational chapter in the legacy of Bob Marley.

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