Earth Wind and Fire bring soldout show to Artpark

Earth Wind and Fire played in Lewiston at Artpark on Sunday July 31st. Earth, Wind & Fire is an American R&B band formed in Chicago, in 1969 and led by founder Maurice White. Also known as EWF, or the Elements of the Universe, the band has won seven Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards.

They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.They have sold over 90 million albums worldwide earning them a place on the list of best-selling music artists where they are ranked as the seventh best selling American band of all time. Earth Wind and Fire are currently on tour with Santana and touring all over the states this summer.

Sunset at Artpark.

The show was a near sellout with a capacity at Artpark near 10,000 people. With that said, some fans had a good experience and others, not so much, but it really depends when you arrived at the show. Prior to the show, the venue posted online many times to arrive early and expect heavy traffic and they were 100% correct. Those fans that arrived early, just as the gates opened, found parking and got in the venue prior to showtime. But those that did not heed the advice of the venue were waiting at the entrance for awhile after the show started.

The start of the show was delayed 15 minutes due to the amount of people still in line. There were various sections for fans to watch the show from. Front of stage area, marked seats by the soundboard, lower bowl and general admission seats. Fans were allowed to bring in lawn chairs to sit and watch the whole show. That helped a-lot as the average age in attendance seemed to be around 60 years old.

Gates opened at 6pm and the opener went on at around 6:30pm. This was not a typical opening band. The Brass Machine wondered their way around the crowd instead of playing on the stage. Fans seemed to enjoy this as they could directly interact with the band. The Brass Machine (formerly the Buffalo Brass Machine) is the one of the premiere touring acts on the live music circuit today, laying down funky New Orleans-style street beats across the United States and Canada. Formed in 2014 at the University at Buffalo, The Brass Machine provides a unique blend of hip hop, funk, and R&B, all in an infectious and energetic package.

Three original members of Earth Wind and Fire. photo credit- Mike Miller

Earth Wind and Fire took the stage at 8:15pm and played for about an hour and 45 minutes. There are only three original members left in the band. Phillip Bailey on lead vocals, Verdine White on bas and Ralph Johnson on percussion and backup vocals. They have been making music since 1972, celebrating 50 years in 2022. The rest of the band is comprised of Myron McKinley on keyboard, John Paris on drums, Phillip Bailey Jr. doing backup vocals and percussion, Morris O’Connor on lead guitar, Serg Dimitrjevic on rhythm guitar and B. David Whitworth on percussion and backup vocals.

photo credit- Mike Miller

They played all of their hits and then some, including “Shining Star,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Let’s Groove” and “September.” You could not ask for better weather for an outdoor concert. The sun setting over Artpark gave fans a great backdrop to the concert with the Niagara River and lower gorge behind the stage. Many fans of the band were seen outside of the venue sitting in their chairs along the road into the Village of Lewiston as the concert could be heard from that far away. Beside the normal heavy concert traffic for an event like this, many fans enjoyed the show.

photo credit- Mike Miller

Earth Wind and Fire – Artpark, Lewiston, NY – Sunday, July 31, 2022

Setlist: Shining Star, Let Your Feelings Show, Mighty Mighty/Celebrate, Gataway, Saturday Night, Serpentine Fire, Sing a Song, Got to Get You Into My Life, Sing a Message to You, Keep Your Head to the Sky, Devotion, Reasons, That’s the Way of the World, After the Love Has Gone, Rock That, Fantasy, Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Groove, September, In the Stone

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