Chicago. Earth, Wind & Fire. Together. Epic. The Heart & Soul Tour 3.0 with both groups made its way through Vancouver on Monday night at Rogers Arena. It was an absolutely incredible experience to witness such legendary bands and I will try my best to do it justice.
It’s hard to believe they were even there performing; both bands have been around for so long. Chicago was formed in 1967 and Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) in 1971 – this is their 49th and 45th year together, respectively. This is huge in a time where bands come and go as often as it rains in Vancouver. It’s neat too, that they’ve managed to stay together all this time, as both groups have shifted through many members over the years.
Regardless of how long the groups have been around, they both still put on an amazing performance –together and on their own. The way the concert played out, the audience was able to appreciate the two bands performing together, apart, and then together again. This was a very unique way of displaying each member’s amazing talent.
The Magic Starts
As the lights dimmed and the audience buzzed with excitement, the groups entered one member at a time. Chicago and EWF opened together with high energy and a playfulness with one another that showed great respect. Philip Bailey (lead singer of EWF) said they were “loving being on stage with Chicago again” and Robert Lamm (keyboardist/singer of Chicago) said of EWF “they are legends, they are icons, and they are friends” and it would be “sad to be touring without them”.
Earth, Wind & Fire
It was then Earth, Wind & Fire’s turn to light up the stage. They played their well-known hits “Boogie Wonderland”, “That’s the Way of the World”, “After the Love Has Gone”, and “Let’s Groove”. They also played lesser known songs, but as Bailey put it: they are known in their fans’ hearts.
The sights and sounds of EWF was everything I imagined it would be. Every member of the EWF family is exceptionally talented and their love for music and performing shines through in every song. At one point, there was a guitar-off; as well, Verdine White was killing it during a bass solo. The guy is 65 years old – there’s no way you could tell by how he was ripping through those chords. It was also amazing to experience “The Voice” (Bailey) live, with his incredible falsetto range. The way they perform is almost mesmerizing: always moving, always dancing. With the help of their sparkly black and white outfits, they looked like a true band from the 70s. It was so awesome!
As I was growing up, I heard (and danced to) a lot more EWF and didn’t really know who Chicago was. However, I still recognized quite a lot of the set list – and realized that they have some pretty epic love songs.
Chicago’s stage presence was just as spectacular as EWF; with a remarkable horn section. They played several crowd favourites: “Make Me Smile”, “You’re the Inspiration”, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry / Get Away”, and “Saturday in the Park”. They also played a cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man”. This included a fierce percussion battle between drummer Tris Imboden and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr. The crowd clapped along, but as the beat became faster and more intricate, they just watched in awe.
The end of the concert had both groups playing together once more. They played “September”, “Free”, “Sing a Song”, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”, “Shining Star”, and “25 or 6 to 4”. It was a huge dance party – everyone was up singing along and grooving to the music.
The concert was unbelievable in so many ways. I will definitely be there to enjoy the show if they ever tour through Vancouver again (fingers crossed).