Midway through Earth, Wind & Fire’s Hollywood Bowl concert Friday night (Sept. 13), the venerable band broke into “Fantasy.” As lead singer Philip Bailey’s falsetto wound over and under the 1978 hit, one line stood out: “Our voices will ring forever, as one.”
That’s exactly what was happening inside the sold-out Bowl as the audience energetically chimed in on that song and more R&B/pop classics during the multiple Grammy-winning group’s nearly two-hour set. Setting the tone early on with 1975’s “Sing a Song,” EWF traced significant musical milestones in its five-decade career via enduring hits and fan faves such as “Shining Star,” Kalimba Story,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Evil,” “Head to the Sky,” “Devotion” and “Boogie Wonderland.” After showing off on a suite of the band’s signature ballads (“Can’t Hide Love,” “After the Love Has Gone” and Reasons”), Bailey left no doubt that his four-octave range can still pack a punch.
“Can you believe it?” he declared as the second half of the show got underway. “It’s almost 50 years for us … with music that was meant to make a positive difference. Are we still making you feel good?”