Al McKay’s ‘Earth, Wind and Fire Experience’ took to the stage at the 2,500 seat Puente Romano tennis court just after 10pm on a sweltering Marbella August night and within the first five bars of ‘In the Stone’ the audience knew this incarnation of Earth, Wind and Fire were no mere tribute band with loose associations to the original.
The 13 strong beautifully coordinated troupe instead blew the audience away with a spectacular reminder of the raw power Chicago legend Al McKay has shown throughout his near 50 years of R&B performance.
As the chords became more familiar the audience felt a need to vacate their seats and shake their collective thangs. Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Groove, September, Getaway, and Magic Mind all blew away the cobwebs from an audience that were for the most part reliving the heyday of the tunes and possibly their own.
Five-time Grammy Award recipient Al McKay has put together a rock solid outfit that moved seamlessly through the repertoire. Vocalists Claude Woods, David Leach and Tim Owens were powerful, soulful and dynamically choreographed. Solos from professional elbow bender, Justin Kirk on trombone was proof that white boys can play with soul. Trumpeter Freddy Fluellen lead the brass line with impeccable timing and Aaron Haggerty on bass started every intro with infectious timing that had the audience gyrating and delighted to have come out on such a hot evening.
Paul Maxwel the Piano Man put together a great support show with four support vocalists performing some classic songs with him, as a teaser to the main event.