Four is a magic number for legendary bands Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago as they collaborate for the fourth time on the 25-date Heart and Soul 2015 tour that delighted a sold out audience on August 16, 2015 at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York.
Performing together as a powerful 21 man ensemble in an opening set beginning appropriately with the 1969 Chicago classic “Beginnings,” these supergroups present the ultimate soundtrack that dominated the 1970’s, 80s and 90s, and continues to appeal to multi-generations. It is a mutual love affair for these veteran hitmakers whose timeless music continues to resonate with enthusiastic fans after more than four decades.
“I sing Earth,Wind & Fire songs in the shower,” Chicago vocalist/guitarist Robert Lamm revealed on stage. EWF lead singer Philip Bailey added, “It’s a pleasure to tour with Chicago for the fourth time.”
Following the joint opening, Earth Wind & Fire kept the audience on its feet with its electrifying set featuring their classics “Boogie Wonderland,” “Got To Get You Into My Life,” “Let’s Groove,” “After The Love Has Gone,” and “That’s The Way of the World.” Verdine White demonstrated why he’s known “The Energizer” with his frenetic bass solo on “Serpentine Fire” which was accompanied by a vintage concert video from the 70s featuring his brother, group founder Maurice White. Throughout their set, their performance was punctuated with nostalgic photos spanning their Hall of Fame career, including candid shots on tour, backstage, in rehearsal, and on vacation at the pyramids in Egypt. The band reached back into their archives for “Jupiter.” “Yearnin’ Learnin'” and “Mighty Mighty,” and slowed the pace for “Devotion” as the entire crowd sang along in unison, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
As always, Philip “The Voice” Bailey amazed the crowd with his breathtaking vocals on the classic, “Fantasy,” and once again proved he is truly one of the wonders of the world on his awe inspiring signature song, “Reasons.”
Chicago commanded the stage after intermission with another succession of classics, kicking off with “Questions 67 & 68,”
“Make Me Smile,” “So Much to Say, So Much to Give,” and “Colour My World.” Lamm, guitarist Jeff Scheff, and keyboardist Lou Parnini seamlessly alternated on lead vocals. The band maintained a relaxing, mellow vibe, however the Grammy award winners also displayed their versatility. Guitarists Scheff and Keith Howland rocked the beach with the grinding “I’m A Man” from 1971 while drummer Tris Imboden and percussionist Walfredo Reyes, Jr. dueled to a standing ovation. Lamm had everyone standing for a joyous sing-along to the 1972 classic, “Saturday In The Park,” before closing their set with “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday.”
The ‘Heart and Soul 2015′ tour reaches its apex when Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago share the stage for a union of two of the greatest bands of all-time. For the grand finale, they reunited, and the crowd marveled at the harmony of Bailey and Lamm singing “September” together, followed by Scheff and Bailey jammin’ on “Free” splashed with a taste of funky James Brown flava. Add their sensational musicians, featuring two of the world’s greatest horn sections, and the power of ‘Heart and Soul 2015’ is unrivaled.
The collabo continued with “Sing A Song,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” and “Shining Star” before culminating in grand style with Chicago’s 1970 anthem, “25 or 6 to 4.”
The Earth, Wind & Fire/Chicago ‘Heart and Soul 2015’ tour is one of the greatest shows of the year. Must see entertainment!