Shakti’s Triumphant 50th Anniversary Tour Touches Down in Port Chester, New York

Bill Milkowski writes: “Guitar god of my youth, John McLaughlin, now 81, sat crosslegged on the carpeted dais floating in the middle of a spare stage at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. It was yet another stop on Shakti’s international 50th Anniversary Tour, which commenced in the States on August 17 in Boston and continues into September with stops in California, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan and Texas. Looking aged but elegant as always, John-ji engaged his audience of 1400 adoring fans — many, like myself, who had witnessed Shakti in concert during their initial Stateside tour in 1976 or caught the later iteration of the group, Remember Shakti, in 2001 — by reminiscing about his own first time playing in the historic and Byzantine theatre built in 1926. It was 1970 when McLaughlin landed there with Tony Williams Lifetime, led by the preternaturally gifted drummer who had left Miles Davis’ second great quintet to form his own version of Cream; in essence, launching the fusion movement in the process. That was before John had formed Mahavishnu Orchestra, the seminal fusion juggernaut acclaimed for its complex, intense music melding rock, jazz and Indian classical music. That band had also played at The Capitol Theatre back in the day.”

Read the full article in Bill Milkowski.