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Earth Wind and Fire lights up Chastain

Yes, it has been 40 years, but anyone who thinks Earth Wind and Fire has lost the fire need only witness Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White – the three original members still touring as a group – high kicking across a stage.

Which is just what they did on Friday as EWF, backed by Atlanta’s own Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, showcased their impressive catalog of hits at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

What could be better than hearing “Shining Star” under the stars? Maybe hearing it with ASO as accompaniment.

The set began with crowd pleaser, “Boogie Wonderland” and ASO’s orchestral maneuvers made the perfect complement to EWF’s funkiness. The full force of ASO’s strings, under the direction of conductor Charles Floyd, could be heard on numbers including “After the Love Has Gone” and “I’ll Write a Song for You.”

Not only did the near sold out crowd hear EWF standards, but the band performed a tribute to the blues.

Just before treating the crowd to more of his still impressive falsetto, Bailey noted EWF’s inter-generational legacy. “A lot of you were conceived on Earth Wind and Fire, that makes us your godfathers,” he said.

Though it would have been appropriate to end the set with “September,” the band took a different route. With the crowd on its feet demanding an encore, EWF launched into “Written in The Stone.”

Still, we can’t deny, it was a September we will always remember.

5 comments Add your comment

Steve

September 24th, 2011
10:12 am

I attended the concert last night and was very disappointed. The show lasted only an hour and 20 minutes. Not much bang for the buck, in my opinion, I’d rather pay another $10 or $20 and get a REAL show. Rush, for example, played for three and a half hours, with one break.

Greg

September 24th, 2011
11:31 am

Its Chastain, they can’t play all night. What did you think, they are old.

Steve

September 25th, 2011
9:37 am

Greg- An hour and 20 minutes is too short for a performance without an opening act. If they can’t play a decent show, they either don’t need to put on the concert or chop the ticket prices in half.

Of course they are old. So am I.

James

September 26th, 2011
7:41 pm

An hour and twenty minutes is insane.Even worse since its down to three of the original nine or so members and Phillip Bailey’s voice is shot..I know we have to give Maurice White a pass due to his medical issues.If a band tours with less than two thirds of the original members I just dont waste my money on tickets unless they are cheap or the band still rocks.These guys are stealing money.

chopkins

September 26th, 2011
9:18 pm

I agree – the concert was over before it started…..come on now.