Sunday, September 5, 2010

Earth, Wind, and lots of Fire

Yes, that's exactly what the venerable R & B  group Earth, Wind and Fire provided for their sold out fans at the Hollywood Bowl last and lots of it.  The fireworks, lighting and talent spectacular  went off without a hitch and the resulting enthusiasm of the audience matched the show inch per inch.   I understand that Maurice White joined them on Friday and that would have been nice to see, but the Saturday show couldn't have been beat for entertainment value.  They were sizzling...and so were we...and the warm Los Angeles night was only partly responsible.

The weather was perfect as we uncorked our first bottle of a good Napa Sauvinon Blanc and stayed with us through out the night as we settled into our box for another great evening of food, comraderie and Los Angeles based entertainment, Hollywood Bowl style.  However, for a great many of the audience, they didn't stay in their seats for long once the music started.  I tried very hard to rock out in my seat, and moved every single part of my body until the last half hour of the show, when I couldn't stand it any longer and got up and did my thing...move to the lush rhythms of familiar old tunes.   My friend, sitting behind me observed that my curvy figure dancing, reminded her of some of the women of Mad Men.    I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or not, as I am a size 4, but curvy non the less.  However,  I think she was more speaking about the movement of my my hips that absolutely cannot sit still when there is any kind of music with a decent beat....and last night the beat was more than decent. 

There was a moment 3/4 of the way through the show when I almost got a little teary as I watched an older couple get up and dance to a ballad as if they were in the privacy of their living room probably reliving a time when they were younger...but not more beautiful because there was a lovely beauty in their dance that said..."we may be older, but we are young at heart."   I think there were many there last night thinking the same thing as they were taken back in time to their youth,

As for the group, who was at times backed up by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the expert hand of conductor Thomas Wilkins,  they were in fine form and the newer members have only added to the mix.  The bass guitar, the saxophone, keyboards and drums as well as the back up vocals were great and  lead singer Philip Bailey (born in 1951), (along with other members, Verdine White, B. David Whitworth, and Ralph Johnson)  is still going strong,  his vocal range magnificent...and to me that tells me this is a generation that is not going into the "good night" dociley.   I think that I would willingly go into the "good night" if I could take my time getting there, and definitely to the beat of Earth, Wind and Fire.  But this show had nothing to do with time running out.   It was all about a celebration of being alive.