Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘Agape’

Hollywood Bowl 2013 — Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert
Friday, September 13, 2013
Hollywood Bowl

With the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Thomas Wilkins (conductor)

Songs performed: Revelry for Orchestra, Danse Négre (Hollywood Bowl Orchestra); Boogie Wonderland, Sing a Song, My Promise, Shining Star, Serpentine Fire, Keep Your Head to the Sky, Devotion, Love is Law, That’s the Way of the World, I’ll Write a Song for You, After the Love is Gone, Reasons, Fantasy, Got to Get You Into My Life, September, Dance Floor, Let’s Groove, In the Stone (Earth, Wind & Fire)Earth, Wind & Fire

Comments: Veteran R&B group, Earth, Wind and Fire, took over the Bowl for three nights last weekend. The group is now going on their 5th decade of making music. Only 3 original members of the group remain (Verdine White, Ralph Johnson and Philip Bailey), but they have filled out the band with other talented musicians and singers (including Philip Bailey Jr.).  Rolling Stone magazine declared that they “changed the sound of black pop.” They are pioneers in R&B, funk, soul, disco, jazz and rock.

So how does a group that’s been around for so long still pack them in? The songs and the performance. I first saw the group in 1988. This was when Maurice White was still in the group. He has since retired from the group because of health issues. But Philip Bailey has stepped up well as the visible leader. He is an undeniable star — as anyone who has heard him tackling “Reasons” will attest.

I actually saw an EWF cover band this past summer too, but I would still pick the real deal over the cover band. The band is still tight, and plays the songs with energy and enthusiasm. These are songs that still sound great today — “September,” “Let’s Groove” and “Fantasy” (loved the long instrumental intro by the Orchestra). It was nice to hear them sing a few more obscure songs from their catalog like “Keep Your Head to the Sky” and “I Sing a Song of Love.”

The band recently released their first album in 8 years — “Now, Then & Forever.” They sang 3 songs from it, the best being “Dance Floor” which was sandwiched between 2 of their biggest hits: “September” and “Let’s Groove.” The fireworks started during the later number. I would have liked another song for the finale rather than “In the Stone”… maybe “Getaway”. But that’s OK.

Thanks to the band and Orchestra for another fun evening under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Hollywood Bowl 2012: Smooth Summer Jazz

Smooth Summer Jazz Concert
Featuring the Men of Soul: Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Hollywood Bowl

Special guests: White Hot Summer Groove featuring Peter White & Euge Groove and Mindi Abair

Songs performed: (Freddie Jackson) Tasty Love, You Are My Lady, Jam Tonight, Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake); (Peabo Bryson) By the Time This Night Is Over, If Ever You Are in My Arms Again, Show and Tell, Tonight I Celebrate My Love, Can You Stop the Rain, Ain’t Nobody; (Jeffrey Osborne) Stay with Me Tonight, On the Wings of Love, Back in Love Again, Love Ballad, We’re Going All the Way, Holding On (When Love is Gone), You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)

Comments: Smooth jazz and old school soul were in full effect for Sunday’s Smooth Summer Jazz concert at the Hollywood Bowl. So we were treated to almost 4 hours of music from talented musicians and distinctive vocalists. Presented by local radio station 94.7 The Wave, this annual concert is always a popular event.Men of Soul

First up was sax player/vocalist Mindi Abair. Mindi has done a lot of work with different pop stars (she’s on tour with Aerosmith this year), as well as recorded her own albums. She was famously featured in Season 11 of American Idol playing backup to Phillip Phillips. Highlights in her set included: “Be Beautiful,” “Lucy’s”, and the finale “All Star” which featured the Pasasdena City College Marching Band and Drum Corp. I loved the lyrics on “Be Beautiful” (a song she wrote to benefit breast cancer research). She also brought out Ambrosia vocalist David Pack to sing the group’s hit “Biggest Part of Me.”

Next up were veteran musicians Euge Groove and Peter White, performing under the band name White Hot Summer Groove. Peter is an accomplished guitarist who has played with Basia among other musicians. Euge Groove is a saxophonist, and has been featured on songs by Exposé. Their set had a sort of cool, Sunday vibe to it. Amongst all the songs were snippets of songs from Bob Marley, the Temptations (Papa was a Rolling Stone), Isaac Hayes (Theme from Shaft) as well as the James Bond theme. Euge Groove even got to shaking his ass while playing the sax and walking across the walkway near the orchestra section of the venue. Peter performed a nice solo Spanish guitar number. There also was a big beach ball being tossed around the crowd during their set.

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Hollywood Bowl 2011: Hall & Oates

Daryl Hall & John Oates in Concert
With the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Hollywood Bowl

Songs performed: “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone,” “Rich Girl,” “Las Vegas Turnaround,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Out of Touch,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Private Eyes”

Comments: The Hollywood Bowl is one of those uniquely Southern California places that don’t really exist most other places. It is a seasonalDaryl Hall and John Oates venue, operating pretty much from May to Sept (with a few additional shows outside of the regular season).  It is a great place for a summer concert. I had been to the Fourth of July spectaculars in the past… but it was usually with some artists I was not so familiar with or someone of my parent’s generation. But here it was with Daryl Hall and John Oates, one of my favorite groups from the 80’s. I remember seeing them back in their heyday quite a few times… but here they were in 2011 playing an 18,000 seat venue for 3 nights even.

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I’m Gay and I Pray

I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. I was baptized, had my first communion and confirmation. I went to church every Sunday.

As an adult, I have continued my relationship with God. But I have found there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. I have also had to make peace with sexuality and the church. I was made to feel there was something wrong with me because I was gay. I prayed and prayed for God to change me. The more research and life experience I had I came the conclusion that I was born this way. There was nothing wrong with me! Being gay is a gift from God.We Are All God's Children

I hate the fact that the Religious Right has soiled/perverted the word “Christian” — to me, they are anything but. God is Love, love for all mankind: We are all equal: man, woman, gay, straight, married or not, rich or poor, white, black, hispanic, asian, etc. God loves all of us. Yet the religious right wants us to feel otherwise — that some of us are better than others.

When the Prop. 8 campaign was happening in California in 2008, my partner and I joined in the fight to keep gay marriage in the state. We did a lot of phone calls, plus we stood on a street corner and waved signs for the cause. The “Christians” we encountered during this time are some of the most hateful persons I have ever dealt with. I was told I was going to hell, that I was sick/perverted, that they wanted to murder us, and they wished that I would die. All of this because I love somebody of the same sex.

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