Chicago and Earth Wind and fire teamed up and entertained the Riverbend Music Center crowd Tuesday night as the Heart and Soul 2015 tour made it’s way into Cincinnati, OH. The crowd was large from the start with the majority of them up on their feet as the show started promptly at 7:30 PM with members of both Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire filing onstage from the center as they filled the stage from side to side and front to back. So many talented musicians make up these two iconic bands and to be able to see them all onstage at the very same time was definitely a sight to behold as the intro was playing and a magnificent light display was put on by the stage crew. The 20,000 capacity venue was filled with thundering applause and cheers as the bands began to play.
Earth Wind and Fire is currently made up of three original members by the likes of Philip Bailey on vocals and percussion, Verdine White on bass, percussion and vocals and Ralph Johnson on vocals, drums and percussion. The remaining members of EWF include Myron McKinley, Philip Bailey Jr., B. David Whitworth, Morris O’Connor, John Paris, Gary Bias, Reggie Young, and Robert Burns. EWF and Chicago would begin the show by performing an approximate 20 minute set rocking the stage together as the crowd would instantly begin to dance and sing along with the 2 bands. After the short warm up set, Chicago would leave the stage and leaving the members of Earth Wind and Fire to entertain the crowd with an hour performance performing songs such as ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘After The Love Has Gone’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Let’s Groove’. The group would even perform their version of The Beatles’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’. As I would make my way around the venue, I would notice many couples dancing as well as random groups of people dancing in their seats and up in the packed out lawn section as well. A 20 minute intermission would follow EWF’s performance as the crowd would disperse and venture out to one of the many different food and beer stands or to pick up their favorite band merchandise.
Chicago is one of the most legendary bands of all time and has been recording hits since 1967. Just like EWF, their band members have come and gone over the years as they would continue touring the world and recording amazing music one hit after another. The current Chicago lineup would consist of original Chicago members Robert Lamm on keyboard and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and vocals, and James Pankow on trombone and vocals. Ray Herrmann, Jason Scheff, Tris Imboden, Keith Howland, Lou Pardini, and Walfredo Reyes Jr. would round out the remaining great musicians that make up this iconic group. Chicago would take the stage following intermission and perform an approximately 65 minute set that consisted of hit after hit including: ‘Hard Habit To Break’, ‘You’re The Inspiration’, ‘Saturday In The Park’ and many others. The band would also feature an entertaining percussion duel between the drums and bongos during their cover of ‘I’m A Man by the Spencer Davis Group.
Following Chicago’s set, EWF would join the stage once again for a grand finale that would leave the audience feeling satisfied and thoroughly entertained. The bands would collaborate together for the final half hour on each other’s hits that remained to be played. After approximately three hours of legendary soul and classic rock music performed by these two iconic bands at the Riverbend Music Center along the Ohio River, I would say the Cincinnati OH crowd left with their money’s worth. Check out the Remaining Tour Dates to see if this amazing tour is coming your way in the near future!
Photo Gallery Slideshow from Chicago and EWF in Cincinnati, OH 8/26/15
By: Jason Evans Photography (jevansphotos.com)