Let’s groove tonight, ’cause it’s written in the stone that you color my world.
Ok, I promise not to keep running song titles together if you keep reading…promise.
Does anybody really know what time it is…
Wait…where are you going?!
March 15, 2015:
September 6, 2015:
So if you’re one of my loyal followers/devotees/casual readers, you probably are aware that I went to a concert last night. And not just any concert, the one I’ve only been saying I was going to for the last six months. Back in March, I found out about Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire appearing at The Borgata on September 6, 2015 (After finding out that they were going to be in Camden, NJ on August 15, 2015 – ironically, while I was on vacation in Chicago). I had to jump all over the chance to see Chicago, a group whose music I grew up on, thanks to parental influence. Blaring horn sections have pretty much been the norm of my music-listening life for most of my nearly-33 years. Add in Earth Wind and Fire (A group I have far more than a passing familiarity with, but don’t exactly know every song), and well…I was able to justify the ticket price.
$130. Think $65 per band, and there’s your justification.
What I got was definitely worth more than what I paid – a priceless experience!
The evening started off with both groups on stage, collaborating on several songs, alternating between each group’s songs. They kicked off with (appropriately) the Chicago song “Beginnings,” moving into “In the Stone” (Yea! Totally love this one!), and then “Dialogue” (parts one and two).
You could just feel the energy radiating, as the members of both bands danced with their instruments, horn sections dominated, and the screens displayed incredible visuals. As the first part of the show came to a close, it was time for Earth Wind and Fire to take the stage for their set.
As Earth Wind and Fire began their hour-long set, we were treated to their classics, as sweeping visuals of pyramids, stars in the sky, and pictures of the group in the 1970s (as well as concert footage of the group from the 1970s) dominate the screen, with the occasional audience cameo on the screen. For the record, I didn’t spot myself on the screen, but it was still awesome to see everyone else on the screen.
Earth Wind and Fire’s Set, the perfect mix of “get up and dance,” “fall in love,” and “somber reality of lost love” included Boogie Wonderland, Jupiter, Getaway, Serpentine Fire, Kalimba Story, Got to Get You into My Life, After The Love Has Gone, That’s the Way of the World, Reasons, Fantasy, Let’s Groove, and Mighty Mighty. The audience did a combination of jumping up and dancing, dancing while sitting, and sitting somberly while singing “After the Love is Gone.” In all, a funk-ified performance, and Verdine White, who NEVER STOPPED MOVING. Ever. Also a treat is member Philip D. Bailey, son of lead singer Philip Bailey, who provided vocals and, judging by the old footage shown during the concert, a chip off the old block.
Though daddy still has pipes of his own, and he can sing it!
After intermission, it was time to bring on my biggest reason for being here…Chicago!
Chicago’s unique ability to incorporate their group logo into all sorts of creative artistry has always been the forefront of their album covers, and their big screen visuals were no exception to that rule. Starting off in their earliest days, and moving right into the 1980s, lead singer Jason Scheff (who joined the group in 1985, at the age of 23) sings them loud, proud, and impeccably. He does the authentic sound of Chicago justice with his incredible vocals, reminding us all of the Peter Cetera years…and sounding every bit as perfect as the sound you’d expect from Chicago.
Chicago’s set worked its way through the earliest years, right into the 1980s. Their mix of love songs and pump-you-up hits was well-balanced and loud. Seriously, my insides were vibrating (though that started with Earth Wind and Fire). Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon (aka:) Make Me Smile Medley, If You Leave Me Now, Call on Me, Alive Again, Hard Habit to Break/Mongonucleosis, Old Days, Just You ‘n’ Me, Saturday in the Park, Feelin’ Stronger Every Day, I’m a Man, Hard to Say I’m Sorry – with one of my personal favorite Chicago songs, Get Away, attached to it. Wanna see a crowd really move? This is how it happens, and is the kind of song that screams “CONCERT!” Lead singer Jason Scheff (as well as longtime members Robert Lamm and James Pankow, among others) carried the group through their distinctive sound, keeping up the momentum that Earth Wind and Fire started.
Also of note during the Chicago set: the dueling drums segment between Tris Imboden and Walfredo Reyes. This isn’t my video, but this is exactly how it goes down.
And moving into the fourth and final act, both group take the stage together for one final round of blaring horn sections and inside-shaking music, combining efforts on September (my mom’s favorite EWF song), Free, Sing-A-Song, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Shining Star, and capping it all off with my personal favorite Chicago song, 25 or 6 to 4.
Yes. That’s how you do it.
And then my camera battery died. Right at the end. True story.
Thank goodness there wasn’t an encore, even though a few drunken spectators clearly wanted one. Because I wouldn’t be able to prove it ever happened.
Because cell phone that takes bad distance photos.
And that was my experience at the Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire: Heart and Soul Tour 2015, on not quite the twenty-first night in September. To be part of the crowd at the final stop of the 2015 tour was amazing, and I wouldn’t trade in the chance for anything.
So, do you really wanna know what time it is? Time to wrap this up…hey! Where are you going now?!
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry, but why should I? You read this, and you know my humor. It’s just a hard habit to break…ok fine, get away…
I’m going to shut up now.