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Posts tagged ‘Earth Wind & Fire’

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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Best of ‘Greatest Hits’ for the Holidays

The holiday gift giving season is upon us. Do you have something for everyone on your list? As a big music fan, I have quite a CD/MP3 collection. Greatest hits collections are great for gift giving. You get all the hits people know, plus usually a few choice album cuts too. They are great for casual fans or die hards too.

  1. Madonna “Immaculate Collection”
    Still a gold standard as far as “greatest hits” collections. She has had a few other collections, but this one is still the strongest. It is amazing how many of these songs you still hear played today: “Holiday,” “Vogue,” “Crazy for You”. If you want to go deeper, try “Celebration” her most recent and most definitive collection (available as a 1 or 2 disc collection).
  2. Journey “Greatest Hits”
    They are still popular! I really believe we have “Glee” to thank for their continued popularity. After “Don’t Stop Believin’” was featured on there, you heard a lot more of this band. They have great sing-along songs and put on a fantastic live show. Not a bad one in the bunch. If you want to go deeper, try “The Essential Journey” (available as a 2 or 3 disc collection).
  3. Blondie “The Best of Blondie”
    Another influential and overlooked group of the 70’s and 80’s. Big hits like “Rapture,” “Heart of Glass” and “The Tide is High.” Debbie Harry was the cool chick lead singer that influenced everyone from Madonna to Britney Spears. If you want to go deeper, try the anthology “The Platinum Collection.”
  4. Donna Summer “The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer”
    Her most recent best-of collection featuring all her essential 70’s and 80’s hits (“Love to Love You Baby” to “This Time I Know It’s For Real”) plus a few new songs too that will have you out there dancing on the floor.
  5. Duran Duran “Greatest”
    Little did people think that the Fab Five as some people called them back in the day, would have the legacy that they do. Expanding upon the earlier “Decade” collection, this is the definitive collection for them. Everything from “Girls on Film” to “Ordinary World.”
  6. Keith Urban “18 Kids”
    I’ve heard his music described as “country for people that don’t like country music.” He’s much more rock than traditional country…with pop sensibilities to his songs. You are sure to tapping your foot and singing along to such songs as “You’re My Better Half” and “Think of Me.”
  7. Michael Jackson “The Essential Michael Jackson”
    A much more comprehensive collection than “HIStory,” this CD has everything from the Jackson 5 to the Jacksons to all of his solo mega-hits. One of the biggest and most influential entertainers of our lifetime — that was taken from us too soon. His songs will live on forever.
  8. Britney Spears “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative”
    Yeah, there is another collection called “The Singles Collection” that from the looks of it, is pretty good too (don’t have it), but her first best-of collection shows what made her the star that she is. Catchy tunes that you will be singing for days from “…Baby, One More Time” to “Toxic.”
  9. ABBA “Gold”
    This group has shown some longevity as far as popularity. They never seemed that big in the US to me… always bigger in Europe or South America… but then a little show/movie called “Mamma Mia” brilliantly brought them back into the spotlight and they haven’t left. Hear the original versions of all the original ear candy songs from the 70’s and 80’s. Definitely a guilty pleasure.
  10. Earth, Wind & Fire “Greatest Hits”
    Another great group that has had a great run. Sure to be a favorite at your backyard BBQ or dinner party, these guys combined rock, funk, and R&B into a delectable combination. Featuring such classics as “Shining Star” and “Fantasy.”

These are sure to be popular stocking stuffers for everyone on your gift list. Whether you order them from Amazon or download them from iTunes… you are getting collections with tons of hits on them.

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