The teaming of the legendary groups Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire created the tour hit of summer 2004. Playing to sold-out venues, the Grammy-winning artists were united on stage for a set of energetic performances o... more »f thie numerous #1 and Top 10 chart hits. All the excitement of the final show of the tour was captured in high-definition for this extraordinary DVD, filmed in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre.« less
Miguel Hidalgo | San Diego, CA United States | 01/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Check it OUT~! I purchased this live DVD to watch Chicago take over Los Angeles. I had been to several Chicago concerts through the years and was wondering if Chicago could still reach the high notes.
I have never seen such a pumped-up session by Chicago until they performed with Earth, Wind and Fire. I could see that the baby boom generation (yep, that's me) in the audience were trying to keep up with Chicago and EWF. Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff struggled on many notes, but they looked happy as ever while performing. It was worth every penny to watch them. Jimmy Pankow and the horns, and Tris Imboden and the percussion, gave tremendous performances. My highest accolade goes to Robert Lamm when he comfortably sang `with soul' "Does Anyone Know What Time It Is" with full support from my leading man Verdine White and EWF.
Step it OUT~! I had only heard of Earth, Wind and Fire. The closest I got to their music was hearing the Tomorrow Land Band at Disneyland play the tune "Let's Groove" through the years. I also didn't realize I was that old. :(
The first person I could not avoid from the beginning to the end of the DVD was Verdine White. I stared at disbelief at this absolutely crazed dancer. On the other hand, was he an absolutely crazed bass guitarist? OK, which is it? His attitude from the get-go was "We are the Greatest, You are the Greatest, let's Dance Together and be the Greatest Together!" He hypnotized me. :)
Earth, Wind and Fire is one of the most talented bands in the World, at any level. The singing of Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson is absolutely superb. I was dancing like an absolutely crazed fool on the couches, on the tables and on the walls of my living room (it can be done) trying to keep up with Verdine White. As I was gasping for air, I listened to all the hits of Earth, Wind and Fire for the first time in my life. Over and over again, this band performed each song with class, style and charm. The graceful and talented Ms. Krystal Bailey gave a wonderful performance while trying to maintain Verdine White (who am I kidding).
BUY IT NOW~! You must buy this DVD. You will fly on Fire to the Windy city of Chicago for weeks after you get it. This is one of the most spectacular live performances on DVD. The ambience at the Greek Theatre with the combined sounds of both groups musically sharing their hits together was eclectic. Here is a secret. You have to see Verdine White shake it up with Robert Lamm and Philip Bailey when both groups play "September." When you play this DVD at a party, there will be M A G I C in the room. Let's Groove Together and Don't Care What Time It Is with this DVD. Did I mention that Verdine White is one of the greatest performers in the World? We Wanna Be Free - Peace."
Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire ?Make Me Smile? in new DVD
E. T. Payne | Atlanta | 06/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Q: Take a rock 'n' roll band with horns, mix it with a mystical funk group and what do you get?
A: A sparkling new concert DVD combining the music of two classic horn bands-Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire "Live at the Greek Theatre." (Shelf date: June 28, 2005)
In the show taped in high-definition at the conclusion of their 2004 summer tour, the two-band powerhouse has the Greek Theatre crowd on its feet for most of the three-plus-hour concert. The show was originally recorded for a pay-per-view concert that aired on cable systems in early 2005.
The two-disc DVD set opens with the groups hitting the stage en masse-complete with six horn players, two drummers, three percussionists, two bass players, three guitarists, et al., launching into Chicago's "Beginnings."
"When we open and both bands are on stage, people are like agog," Chicago founding member and trumpet player Lee Loughnane said during the 2004 tour. "They're like 'oh my God, you guys really are playing together.'"
Putting two bands on stage at once is often a train wreck in the making. A muddy sound mix can plague the effort or whole sections of one band or the other get left out.
Instead listeners are treated to a sparkling mix and interplay among the horn players that only adds to the classic tunes. Clearly the sum is greater than the already exceptional parts.
Next is EWF's majestic "In the Stone," cross-pollinated with Chicago's "Dialogue." Like a club DJ, the bands somehow mix the two songs together with stunning results, using an a cappella bridge.
After some friendly banter-and a coin flip-between Chicago's Robert Lamm and EWF's Philip Bailey about who should play next, Chicago leaves the stage and Earth, Wind & Fire launches into a funk-filled set - mixing in classics like "Getaway," "Boogie Wonderland," and "That's the Way of the World."
Chicago's Bill Champlin returns to the stage and takes over lead vocals on the EWF hit "After the Love is Gone" - a song he penned before he joined Chicago in the early '80s.
Given that a DVD mixes sight AND sound, EWF is the more entertaining band visually. Verdine White is a special effect in his own right, prompting some to call the lanky bassist the "Energizer Bunny" of the band. The man absolutely never stops moving.
Motown-like moves and cajoling of the audience to dance and sing along play into the party atmosphere that marks an EWF show.
While the members of EWF are better entertainers than their counterparts in Chicago, both bands are peers musically. Earth, Wind & Fire are just more fun to watch.
Starting on disc two, Chicago powers its way through its own impressive catalogue of hits, stringing together "Make Me Smile," "Colour My World," "Saturday in the Park," and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" as part of its set - mostly focusing on their early hits.
"Let's get lost in the 70s," says Lamm to the cheers of the audience filled with graying baby boomers, as he introduces "Call on Me" and "Alive Again."
The bands again swap vocalists on "If You Leave Me Now," with Bailey and his soaring tenor making the ballad sound better than it has since Peter Cetera left Chicago two decades ago.
The two bands claim combined sales of more than 150-million records and albums. Both have collected their share of Grammies and American Music Awards. EWF was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
But despite their credentials, it is not a pairing that immediately evokes the same sort of "that's a great idea" response as the "Piano Men" tours of Elton John and Billy Joel in past years did.
During their heydays in the 1970s, Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire were the yin and yang of the pop music world-both with dominant horn sections, but radically different approaches to their music.
When Chicago formed in the Windy City in 1967, members came together with the idea of being "The Beatles with horns."
As Maurice White started pulling together EWF in 1969 - also in Chicago-his musical vision included Afro-centric themes, astrology and black pride wrapped around a tight funk base, spiced with hints of Motown and gospel.
The real fireworks of the concert come appropriately during the six-song encore - both bands fully energized and on stage together again. It's an impressive closing set.
Trading hits, the tour de force powers through: "September," "Free" with dueling sax solos by Chicago's Walter Parazaider and EWF's Gary Bias, "Singasong," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" "Shining Star" and a free-for-all version of "25 or 6 to 4," with each of the three guitarists taking a turn on lead.
During last summer's pairing, EWF drummer John Paris said, "We seem to bring out the best in each other."
The chemistry is obvious as both bands, energized and challenged by each other, far outshine their previous DVD concert performances.
And the fans agree.
"There's a reason bands like Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire are still around after all this time," said Roberto Fernandez, who drove six-hours from Jacksonville, Fla. to see the July 11, 2004 show in Atlanta. "It's called talent."
The pairing was such a success that both bands will tour again together this summer, starting June 24 in Chicago and not wrapping up until late September."
Chicago/EWF the hottest tour of 2004 and here's why!!!
Joseph J. Coppola | North Massapequa, New York United States | 06/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you did not see this incredible tour last year here is your chance. Almost 3 fantastic hours from two of the greatest rock & R n B bands of all time. The beginning and ending where both bands are onstage is worth the purchase price alone! If you are a fan of either band or a fan of 70's music in general this is one not to miss! If this great show comes to your town this year you should go see it live as well. The early reviews are that it is great as well.
Time for an edit in of gripes with some reviewers.
1- Jay L. Rudko - Hey Jay my boy Peter Cetera has been a solo act now for 20 years. If you expected him the show up for this show, you must really be Rip Van Winkle. And Jason Scheff does the majority of Peter's songs. Keith only does one or two depending on the set list.
2- Nathan - Hey Nate that "Medley" you refer to is the "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" written by Jimmy Pankow See Chicago II for the original studio version. And Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away is presented as it was on Chi 16 (with a repeat helping of Get Away and some horns added on HTSIS) And what "Lesser known songs" are you referring to? Also PC left of his own accord and Champlin was brought into the band cause it was thought that Robert Lamm might leave the band at some point. And how can you say Jason and Bill's singing is inadequate, versus who???? PC's voice isn't all it used to be either.
3 & 4 - Emacomber & Bluzman - You two make zero sense at all, and that is more than enough to be said about the two of you except to say that I am sure that Maurice would love to be healthy enough to still be touring with EWF. Sadly he has Parkinsons Disease and can not tour. But I do understand that he will be on EWF's new studio CD due out this summer!
Power, musicianship and Joy
Steve | Los Angeles | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Going into this, one may wonder (justifiably) what to expect. Bands past their prime? A sad collection of tired musicians parading out their old hits? In fact, it is anything but that. Surprising, in a way, since both groups are missing original and key members. But not surprising, since both have remained popular for over three decades, and are filled with fantastic performers who have the ability to play and write songs that are anything but easy to transfer from album to stage, and who do it with occasional greatness. Not every song hits the mark, but there are moments of absolutely transcendant musical enjoyment -- certainly in every single song that the two bands play together -- but even in some of the songs each band plays on its own.
The differences between the bands? EWF has fewer original members, but really works the crowd, old school in its efforts to involve the audience, and it sounds fantastic. Chicago is and always has been a musician's band -- complex arrangements and surprising power at unexpected moments -- with the real surpise coming in the times it gets the crowd jumping and rocking. No single member charismatic in the way that Philip Bailey is in EWF, but as an ensemble that's played with its current line-up for over twelve years it is simply terrific - the sum greater than the parts. Robert Lamm's voice is a marvel.
As for the beginning and the end of the concert -- when the two bands come together -- unbelievable. The sound and picture quality on the DVD immerses you in the entire experience in a way that showed how exciting it must have been to be there. In the finale, there's one hit after another, programmed in just the right order, each building on the last -- giving truth to what a friend of mine said -- 'the best concert I've ever seen." Arguable, of course, but you can tell that these two groups love playing together, and the grooves they find in each and every song provide an exciting experience, even at home in your own living room. Buy this if you are even the slightest fan of either group, and you will walk away happy."
brez | texas | 12/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the songs are nothing new, the performances are great. The EW&F performances were all great. Chicago was good, they have lost a little in the vocals. When EW&F and Chicago are on stage together their performances rise to a whole new level.
The video and audio are very good. One minor complaint, this is the first HD-DVD I have seen that takes you out of the program to see the menu, all of the other HD-DVDs that I have watched allow the program to continue and display the menue over the ongoing program so you can select tracks without stopping the track you are watching/listening to.
All in all, a great concert, great sound and a great picture. If you are fans of either of these groups, get this HD-DVD."