Earth, Wind & Fire promotes hope

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The music of Earth, Wind, & Fire has almost to a song always been positive.

There is jubilation, joy, and hope in songs such as “September,” “Shining Star,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “Reasons.”

Even when the group (which now includes Verdine White on bass, Philip Bailey on vocals, Ralph Johnson on drums/ percussion, Myron McKinley on keys, Philip Bailey, Jr. on background vocals, B. David Whitworth on vocals and percussion, Morris O’Connor on guitar, Serj Dimitrijevic on guitar, and John Pais on drums) covered The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life,” the group injected more energy into that track then the Fab Four could have imagined. Earth, Wind & Fire ultimately ended up with the definitive version of the McCartney/ Lennon composition.

Through the years, the temptation could have been there to get more raunchy, darker, and grittier. But the group– which is coming to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville with the Heart and Soul Tour 3.0 on Sunday– kept its sight on the light rather than the darkness.

“That’s who we are,” said the band’s original bassist Verdine White and brother of the group’s longtime visionary, the late Maurice White. The group is about positive energy and hope, said Verdine, “You have to be true to you are.”

The joy and positive nature of music also is shared by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Heart and Soul tour mates, Chicago, said Verdine, that’s why the tour makes so much sense.

The world clearly needs this kind of positivity, said Verdine, as evidenced by the number of fans coming out to see Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago on the Heart and Soul Tour.

“There’s always a lot of people who want to be positive and hopeful,” said Verdine.

As a musician, Verdine said he enjoys performing the music created by the band and crafted by his brother. He praised Maurice White’s leadership and innovation with Earth, Wind & Fire.

“There’s not a band like this,” said Verdine. Maurice White brought a voice and a sound to the music scene that was unique, said Verdine.

Verdine also praised the current tour and tourmates Chicago, said Verdine.

“I love playing with these guys. They’re a great band,” said Verdine. “We’re band mates.”

And both bands have great respect for each other, said the bassist. On stage, there is an energy that you can’t faked, he said.

As for new music from Earth, Wind & Fire, Verdine said, “We’re always recording.”

Additionally, Verdine noted the group’s classic track “September” is on the soundtrack for the new animated film, “Trolls.”

“We were happy to be part of that,” said Verdine.

Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago perform at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 and $60.

For more information, go to EarthWindandFire.com or MoheganSun.com

Earth, Wind, & Fire comes to the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday with Chicago. (Photo by Randee St. Nicholas)

Earth, Wind, & Fire comes to the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday with Chicago. (Photo by Randee St. Nicholas)