By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida–March 26, 2016–Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago
The Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire Heart and Soul Tour 2.0 train rolled into the Mid-Florida Credit Uniton Amphitheatre, Tampa, last night to a packed crowd, including a traffic jam just trying to get into the parking lot. There was a lot of enthusiasm abound on this Easter holiday weekend!
First of all, Earth Wind and Fire conjures up many memories of funk and later disco music at high school dances. EWF and of course, Ohio Players, seemed to be the mainstay of the late-70s era with hits like “Shining Star”, “Serpentine Fire”, “Reasons”, “September”, “Boogie Wonderland”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and have had a roster of various members since its founding in 1969 by the late Maurice White.
Chicago was a mainstay of 1970s AM/FM radio as well with memorable hits like “25 or 6 to 4,” “Saturday in the Park,” “Beginnings”, and “Make Me Smile”. At the time I always wondered, “Are they rock with such a strong brass section?” They seemed to be a combination of rock, jazz, and even soul–which created a recipe for the music I love. Whenever there was a slide show or any presentation in high school, Chicago music was the background music since it crossed over various genres.
Considering their contribution of Top 40 hits it is a wonder they are only being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 8th in Cleveland along with Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, and Steve Miller. Only seven original members of Chicago made the cut, including Robert Lamm, Terry Kath, Jimmy Pankow, Lee Loughnane, Walter Parazaider, Peter Cetera, and Danny Seraphine (original drummer). By the way, it is also a travesty, in my opinion, that Deep Purple is just now being inducted.
On Saturday night, the concert opened with both EWF and Chicago on the stage doing medleys of their songs. This is the M.O. of the show—combined playing and then solo sets. The set was very large with a giant screen, lots of lights, plenty of dancing while grooving with trombones, and chock full of energy considering a lot of these guys are in their late-60s and early-70s. They really put on a spectacular show!
Check out some photo highlights below: