Earth Wind & Fire dance at MGM National Harbor on Feb. 18, 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
If you ever have heard Philip Bailey sing, you know what an amazing voice the gent has. But I would say you really have to see him live to get the full effect of how he turns on a dime to raise a falsetto and drop it into a baritone, such as when he sings “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” made famous by Philadelphia soul group The Stylistics. Thankfully, you have an opportunity to do just that as Philip’s powerhouse disco and funk group Earth, Wind & Fire are here in DC Wednesday, Aug. 9, for a show at Verizon Center.
And even better, they are teaming up with their contemporary Nile Rodgers, who is bringing the CHIC collective along with him.
Well! Earth, Wind & Fire teamed up with CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers to present 2054 The Tour, which stops at Verizon Center Wednesday. In their press statements, Philip and Nile praised the other while embracing the opportunity to perform together.
“Nile Rodgers and CHIC are legendary for their iconic style, song, sound, and groove,” said Philip, co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. “Get ready for a non-stop 2054 party!” Said Nile, “There was a time when we could only dream of ‘seeing’ Earth, Wind & Fire live, now we get the honor of sharing the stage together. Get your feet ready for a deluge of hits!”
The two promise lots of opportunity and room for dancing during 2054 The Tour. And it’s been a busy time for both acts! Last year, Nile was honored with an Award for Musical Excellence from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after he took CHIC on the road with Duran Duran. Earth, Wind & Fire (themselves inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000) hit the road for some very well-received tours after the passing of cofounder Maurice White (who had retired from performing).
Watch Earth, Wind & Fire perform “September” live with their classic lineup on YouTube in a video from Eagle Rock Entertainment:
I saw Nile perform in April 2016 at Verizon Center, and it was quite an experience! For Parklife DC, I praised Nile’s style and class. “Nile and his new CHIC collective sang popular songs like ‘Good Times’ and ‘Le Freak’ during their opening, and it’s clear the man’s indefatigable spirit was there from the first day he began recording.”
And I caught Earth, Wind & Fire at MGM National Harbor in February, and trust me when I say these guys are not to be missed. Philip’s vocal powers are incredible. “If I weren’t seeing it happen with my own eyes, I would have sworn I was listening to two entirely different people,” I said when he switched octaves. “I am not alone in being gobsmacked. The entire audience catches its breath as one as Philip takes the song through its final crescendo and then the house breaks out into a standing ovation.”
Limited tickets are still available! Buy your tickets online.
Earth, Wind & Fire
+ CHIC ft. Nile Rodgers:
2054 The Tour
Wednesday, Aug. 9
Doors @ 7pm