White Girl Wasted, Chuck Stokes, and The 55 year old Superfan.
An Earth Wind And Fire Concert is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. EWF booked the legendary Chene Park venue where you can enjoy them from your seat, from a lawn chair, or from a boat in the Detroit River. The section we were in was eclectic as hell. We sat to the left of an older white lady, we’ll call her Barb, who was at least two beers in by the time we arrived. Further to our right we saw WXYZ editorial director Chuck Stokes waving at a fan incognegro* as hell, trying not to blow up the spot**. The five or six ladies in front of us looked like they were shooting a reality show called The Bougie Broads from Bloomfield Hills fully equipped with plastic surgery battle scars and that one friend that would rain on the parade of the return of Jesus. Last but certainly not least was the middle aged black man superfan that looked like he played high school football back in the day. Every time a jam came on and folks sat down he said y’all gon’ stand up for this. Then when the song Reasons came on ol’ boy said “Sheeit I’m 55 years old and I’m makin’ a baby tonight!” 💀💀💀 We couldn’t make this shit up if we wanted to.
Earth Wind and Fire is the 1970’s supergroup proving that hard work, artistry and musicianship matter. Who knew that a tradition born of 3 kids from Chicago and Denver would span over 4 decades. An EWF show means dancing musicians, classic songs that never feel dated and the energy and heart of performers half their age. There’s something even more special about Earth Wind and Fire at Chene Park. The amphitheater is one of those places that eats lip singers for breakfast. If you’re an artist and your whole show is pre-recorded, Chene Park is not the place for you. On the flip side, if you’re doing your thing, you can make Detroit sing. The big record company left in the 70’s, but the pure voices built on gospel and soul remain. The video below captures a piece of the magic.
We would be leaving you completely out of the loop if we didn’t tell you about Sheila E. Sheila Escovedo is one of the best drummers we’ve ever seen. She’s also the first girl we ever saw play the drums. She created moments up there on stage from bringing folks up to dance, harmonizing with background singers and flinging her drumsticks in the audience for the crowd to catch. Though Sheila E. opened for Earth Wind and Fire, she owned the stage. Escovedo took the crowd from “Ain’t nobody comin’ to see you Otis” to a lengthy standing ovation that nearly brought the performer to tears and prompted a drum encore. To all the up and coming performers. Shine so bright that no one wants to follow your act. Opening a show will never dim your light, it just may catapult you into the stratosphere. Sheila E. is now the very first living legend inducted into the Rag Paper Media Live Music Hall of Fame. She’s also the only opening act we’ve ever seen receive a standing ovation in Detroit. Go to our IG to see Sheila live in concert!
*incognegro – a black person trying to keep a low-profile.
**blow up the spot – draw attention.
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