93 degrees. That’s the temperature it was outside when Earth, Wind & Fire took the stage this past Friday night at the Stir Concert Cove in Council Bluffs, Iowa. With multiple fans blowing towards them, band members Verdine White, Phillip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson appeared on top of a platform wearing ruffled shirts and sequined pants. From the beginning of the set, Earth, Wind & Fire had the audience engaged; clapping their hands and performing “Sing a Song” as even spectators sitting in lawn chairs got up and clapped along.
I still have no idea how they made it through the two-hour set without taking a break. And in pants and long-sleeved shirts no less! Maybe it’s because, as Phillip Bailey mentioned, they have been performing for almost 50 years now and have probably experienced all weather and concert conditions imaginable. In any case, both the audience and the band stuck it out through the summer heat; dancing and singing as if the temperature had no effect on the night.
Towards the beginning of the show, Earth, Wind & Fire played some of their classics including “Shining Star” and “Getaway” then slowly transitioned into some of their funk tunes like “Fantasy” and “Reasons,” which included a falsetto solo from Phillip Bailey. Then, at the end of the night when the audience was ready to get up and boogie, they played disco staples “Boogie Wonderland” and “Let’s Groove.” The night ended with “September,” and an encore performance of “In the Stone.”
Phillip Bailey stated that “This music has become part of the soundtrack of all of our lives,” which I think perfectly sums up Earth, Wind, & Fire. I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone who doesn’t know who Earth, Wind & Fire is or has never heard one of their songs. They’ve got music to listen to when you want to dance, and they’ve got music to listen to if you want to dance with somebody. Bailey questioned the audience, “Is the music still making you feel good?” After experiencing this concert, and witnessing the sure energy and happiness Earth, Wind & Fire brings to its listeners, I can for sure answer that yes, yes the music does still make us all feel good.