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Earth, Wind & Fire keeps live show evolving

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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Now in its 43rd year of performing, Earth, Wind & Fire has developed a kind of science about its live show, says frontman Philip Bailey.

“We keep experimenting around with it,” explains Bailey, 60, whose trademark falsetto is featured on hits such as “Reasons,” “Shining Star,” “Sing a Song” and “Let’s Groove.” While there haven’t been any brand new songs since 2005’s “Illuminations,” Bailey notes that, “We’re doing some things that we pull out of the hat from the treasure chest of songs that we have — ‘Let’s do this. Let’s do that.’

“But we’re also doing all the stuff that people know us for.”

Choosing the rarities, meanwhile, is its own kind of endeavor, he adds.

“We kind of just pick and choose,” Bailey says. “There’s songs that weren’t necessarily hits, like ‘Evil’ and ‘On Your Face’ and ‘Mighty Mighty’ and things like that we’ll throw in sometimes — if not the whole song, then some of it.

“There used to be a difference of opinion in terms of getting older and being around for quite some time, but now we feel we’re on top of the pecking order here. We have a history, we have a catalog, we’re still viable and people still want to see us. What more can you ask for, right?”

Earth, Wind & Fire performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $59.50 and $29.50 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call 313-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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