Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Earth Wind And Fire Live Review

I finally had the opportunity to see Earth, Wind & Fire the other day - a band that I’ve always wanted to see.  I’ve seen their live shows on Palladia a bunch of times and the shows always looked like a a lot of fun - so it was great to finally attend a show.

The band started a little late that night and although waiting for a concert can sometimes be annoying for a fan, the band had good reason to delay the start of this show.  People just kept coming and coming and coming.  Driving up to the concert there was a line of traffic and then once you parked the line was around the corner to get into the venue - needless to say, it was a PACKED house that night.  

After the supporting band members took the stage, the three original members who include Philip Bailey, Verdine White, and Ralph Johnson made their grand entrance.  That was a nice touch, especially for the casual fan so they knew who the original members were during the show.  The band opened with a few hits including “Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland” which really set the tone for the rest of the night.

After those upbeat hits they settled into a groove and played more of the moderate and slower tempo hits (which were still groovin' by the way).  Throughout the night we were treated to “Serpentine Fire”, “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “Sing A Song”, the infamous Kalimba solo, and so much more. 

On the lawn, the party didn’t stop until the show ended.  It was a dance party all night with folks only taking a breather on some of the slower tempo hits.  I’ll admit, usually I’m a concert snob and like to be in the first few rows, but in some cases like a Jimmy Buffett concert or, in this case, Earth Wind & Fire - I think the lawn is where it’s at.  I only sat down once – but immediately popped up after hearing Philip Bailey hit one of the highest notes I’ve ever heard live.  And it wasn’t just me.  Everyone around me stood up shortly after to see him hit those notes - it was pretty incredible.

The set list was planned very well – they started out with a bunch of energetic songs to pull the crowd in and then took them on a roller coaster of tempos carefully weaving the songs together to dictate the mood of the crowd.  The show finally built up to the finale when they pulled out “September” and “Let’s Groove”.  It’s a brilliant way to wrap up the show. 

The band sounded great and the harmonies were wicked.  These guys really put the time in to make it sound right – and it was very much appreciated by this attendee.

The only negative on the night for me was “September” & “Let’s Groove”.  I understand that most people won’t feel this way, but throughout the show you’re just waiting for those hits and when they finally come – a little air was let out of the tires because the vocals weren’t quite there.  Bailey’s son sang most of those and while he’s a decent singer – something was just missing.  I would have preferred to hear the elder Bailey in the driver’s seat on these songs like he was for the rest of the night.  Again, most won’t notice or care, but for the finicky folks like myself, there may be a tiny bit of disappointment with those songs.

All in all it was a groovin’ concert and a damn good time.  If you are a fan of the band, I highly recommend this show.  Even if you’re not a die-hard fan and just know a few hits, the lawn is a GREAT option to go and have a fantastic time.  They have a lot of dates left on this tour and I would definitely check them out if you have the time.  I look forward to the next time they come to town.

Here are some photos from the show:


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