Although Earth Wind & Fire rose to fame during
the 1970’s, they didn’t participate in the Montreux
Festival until 1997. I recently watched a DVD of this
concert, issued under the Eagle Eye label. While many
of the original band members were no longer present,
the group was nevertheless firing on all cylinders
during this set, which was replete with two very
talented female dancers. They performed an uplifting
selection of songs with huge hits, such as “September”
and “After the Love Is Gone,” before a very
enthusiastic and receptive audience. With its classic
Funk/Soul/Rhythm & Blues sound, this music took
me back to the 1970’s. I really enjoyed it much
more than I might have, had I heard it years
earlier, when I had more “limited” listening preferences.
Tenor lead singer Philip Bailey has the most amazing
high voice extension that I’ve ever heard from a male
singer. The entire band was solid, playing with a tight
groove. At a running time of approximately 90 minutes,
the entire concert was well recorded in Dolby digital
sound, with good camerawork.
As a bonus, a 23-minute set from their 1998 Montreux
Festival appearance was included on this disc. Although
the sound wasn’t as good for this feature as it was for
the prior year, I’m still glad that I got to hear it.
I recommend this DVD!