The Elements: Earth Wind & Fire at Red Hat

Eath Wind and Fire at Red Hat

by: Cathy Foreman


May 10th the legendary Earth Wind and Fire came to Raleigh and performed at the Red Hat Amphitheater. There are some groups/acts that when you hear they’re in your area, you have to put in your shot. As an old school music lover, this was one of those times. They’ve been here before and I’ve submitted to photograph before, but like they say timing is everything. Friday night was my time.

It was a great night for the show… not too hot and clear skies. Just a few hours earlier clouds were present and it looked as if the rain would surely come, but then the skies opened and all was well. All was well indeed, as The Elements played to a sold-out show. Incredible! A beautiful sea of people, all comrades appreciating beautiful music and celebrating the longevity of this legendary and groundbreaking group.

I recall hearing a passerby, who had sold her tickets, but for someone, the reason was confused about several points including was this the “original” Earth Wind & Fire. My first reaction was a jerk of my head. I mean there is no revival or tribute band; why would there be when the masters are still giving it all they have. In my head, I just kept saying she can’t be a fan because a true fan would never part their lips to ask that type of foolishness.

Speaking of real fans.

EWF gave us an arrangement of songs and after being in the business for nearly 50 years, they had more than enough to choose from. I wonder how they go about selecting their playlist for these shows. Of course, you have to perform some fan favorites or face a mutiny, right? But what about the other songs; the fillers, if you will. Philip said, “if you’re a true fan, you know the music… not just the popular songs, but songs that you may love because you feel them in your heart.” And from there they went on to play Kalimba Story. Now I will admit that I had no idea what this song was; however, I was feeling it. The instrumental was easy to groove to, for sure as I watched couples around me dancing, putting in some fancy footwork. And this morning I had to dig and get my research on as I scoured the web and the brains of my mom, uncle and ultimately my barber before I was able to confidently say what the name of this song is. Shout out to Andre at Andre’s Barber Shop. As for the popular choices, at least while I was there, I heard:

Shining Star, Keep Your Head to the Sky, Can’t Hide Love, Got to Get You Into My Life, and Devotion

….. all great music. Hell, who am I kidding… ALL FABULOUS MUSIC.

As I said, it was a great evening for a great show. Watching the cell phone lights in the air and seeing the swaying of hands back and forth was a beautiful site. Here’s to wishing The Elements many more live shows and continued success.

Some of my favorite shots.

  • Earth Wind and Fire at Red Hat by Cathy Foreman