The Elements of the Universe

“Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome the elements of the universe, Earth, Wind, and Fire!”

Those were the words spoken at 7:40 Tuesday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The next thing I remember it was 9:30 and the band was taking their final bow. What a show! I have been enjoying concerts for nearly 40 years. Never have I seen a group come out as hard and fast as Earth, Wind, and Fire.

They came out smoking right from the start with Boogie Wonderland, Sing a Song, Shining Star, and Serpentine Fire. The hits continued through the nearly two hour set: Reasons, Fantasy, September, That’s the Way of the World, Got to Get You Into My Life, Rock That, Let’s Groove, I’ll Write A Song for You, After The Love Is Gone, Getaway, and a bluesy renditon of Night and Day.

The high expectations I had going into the show were far surpassed. Philip Bailey’s four-octave voice was amazing. Verdine White has been called “the hardest working man in show business since James Brown died” and I can see why. He strutted around the stage all night grinning from ear to ear and playing the bass like, well, you had to be there. The horn section and the guitarists were rockin’. And the percussion, well, on a few of the songs they had five guys playing drums and percussion, so you can imagine what that was like, partcularly in the Ryman.

Young and old, black and white, everybody had a great time. What a show!

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