Earth, Wind and Fire - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 1
Earth, Wind and Fire
Hard Rock Live, Hollywood
Better than: Being alive elsewhere
Let's not pussyfoot here, why should we? It would be counterproductive. I'll say it time and time again: EW&F are bar none the best live act I've ever witnessed onstage. That's right. There is a casual purveyance to their gait, something that is so endemically positive to their message, something that you wish was part of the repertoire of most American politicians.
But we all know that won't happen anytime soon.
Oh well, we soldier on. The last time I saw EW&F, I was at the very same venue, Hard Rock Live, and I might've had some qualms then about how the show went down because I was very vividly comparing it to their prior set at the Fillmore. This is a band that, regardless of lineup changes, can bring the goods home, a band that can jam out and inspire anyone in the crowd to go home and get their funk on.
And last night, they did.
If I thought the 2010 set was short, Sunday night's wasn't. Same lady friend was in tow with her concerns about their signature song "Reasons," where, in the studio and beyond, they have built it around the vocalization. Recently though, they've relied in the instrumentation to build the crescendo that brings this crowd pleaser to fruition.
That doesn't mean it's bad, it works almost like an intro to something else, more specifically, Phillip Bailey's fantastic lungs. And that is a good thing, we all benefit from that. While I will not go into historical facts on the band nor a who is who, it is still good to see founding member Verdine White, with his incessant reprogramming of what funk bass should be and vocalist and percussionist Ralph Johnson ruling it on stage. Also, there was the aforementioned Phillip Bailey, destroying the known ranges of the human voice.
Was this show awesome? Yes it was. The Seminole Hard Rock Live is quite frankly one of the better music venues in South Florida because everything sounds good and you can tell there's a level of care brought forth by the in-house staff. Case in point, during their fourth track of the evening, "Serpentine Fire," a video of EW&F boss Maurice White was shown on stage.
That might not mean shit to you, but it means a lot to me as a fan. That is respect. That is continuity. That is tradition. That is a true sense of community.
You know what. I better stop myself before I wreck myself... Because Earth, Wind and Fire has been a powerhouse for over forty years, and I am no man to write otherwise. I'll say this much: Let's have another 40 years!
You don't have to take my word for it, a beautiful woman at the show, Paula F. said truthfully: "They still have it." And they do, like gangbusters. Why change things when they are not broken? Why hate the desert for not having water?
"Sing A Song"
"Way of the World"
"Can't Hide Love"
"After the Love Is Gone"
"Let's Get It On"
"Got To Get You Into My Life"