Sunday, June 22, 2014

Earth, Wind & Fire's Electrifying Vibes

Earth, Wind & Fire  - photo by John V
Earth, Wind & Fire brought the funk, soul and R&B to Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.  Longtime members Philip Bailey, Verdine White & Ralph Johnson led the band through a powerhouse 90-minute show, raising the roof on the place, and enthralling a very enthusiastic crowd. Kicking off the night with the one-two punch of “Boogie Wonderland” and “Sing A Song,” the show’s energy never flagged. Bailey’s amazing voice, White’s nimble bass playing and Johnson’s powerful percussion, helped the group sail through an energetic set of EWF hits, like the classic Beatles cover “Got To Get You Into My Life” and some fan favorites, such as the moving “Devotion.” One of the top songs of the show was an electrifying version of “Reasons” featuring Bailey’s best vocal performance of the evening. That robust falsetto is still going strong after all these years, and hasn't lost any of its power.

The evening featured one classic song after another; “Fantasy,” “Shining Star,” “September” and a cool version of one of my personal favorites, “Serpentine Fire.” The group truly knows how to pace a show like this. You’d get a couple of fast & funky numbers to get the crowd on their feet, then they’d take it down a bit for a powerful ballad like “Keep Your Head To The Sky,” another highlight of the evening. Of course, the excellent band, including the celebrated EWF horn section, added immeasurably to the show’s success. The group also includes Bailey’s son Philip, Jr. on vocals; he also did a wonderful job. EWF truly operates as a unit, and there are no mere “hired hands” in this outfit. These were expert players at the top of their musical game, and they were all given the chance to shine during the night’s performances. Every member of the group was outstanding.

I cannot say enough positive things about this fantastic band, and this fabulous show. The audience, including myself, were clapping, shouting, rising to their feet and dancing throughout the concert. In short, we were enjoying ourselves immensely, and the band looked like they were having a great time as well. As the evening reached it’s apex with “September” and “Let’s Groove” you could feel the sense of happiness, joy & good vibes reverberating throughout the arena. Earth, Wind & Fire are on the road this summer; you simply have to check out this excellent band live, and experience this funkified, testified, groove-filled show. Very highly recommended. Here are link’s to the band performing “Serpentine Fire” and “Got To Get You Into My Life”

Set List:
Boogie Wonderland
Sing A Song
My Promise
Shining Star
Serpentine Fire
Saturday Nite
On Your Face
Sun Goddess
Kalimba Story
Keep Your Head To The Sky
That's The Way Of The World
After The Love Has Gone
Got To Get You Into My Life
Let's Groove
In The Stone

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