The “Sing A Song All Night Long” tour puts together two of the biggest selling artists of all time with a combined record sales of over 200 million. Lionel Richie and Earth Wind and Fire embarked on a highly successful arena tour August 4th in St Paul, MN at the Xcel Energy Center. The tour made its way to the west coast September 5th with a stop at the Ball Arena in Denver, CO.
Earth Wind and Fire kicked off the show with their timeless hit “Shining Star.” The group still includes founding members Verdine White (Bass), Philip Bailey (Lead Vocals/ Percussion), and Ralph Johnson (Percussion/Vocals). The set included hits like “Sing a Song,” “Reasons,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Fantasy,” Boogie Wonderland,” and ended with “September,” and “In the Stone.” There were still many hits to come between Richie’s solo career and his time with The Commodores.
Along with the founding members are their musical director/keyboardist Myron McKinley (since 2001), drummer John Paris (since 2001), vocalist/ percussionists B. David Whitworth (since 1996) and Philip Bailey Jr. (2008), and guitarists Morris O’Connor (since 2008) Serg Dimitrijevic (since 2012), and saxophonist Gary Bias and trombonist Reggie Young (both since 1987) and trumpeter Bobby Burns Jr. (since 2004). EWF has won nine Grammys, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, are Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and are Kennedy Center Honorees among other awards.
Before Richie released his debut self titled solo album in 1982, he had been on 11 albums with The Commodores between 1974 and 1981 as vocalist and saxophonist. Richie has released a total of 10 studio albums. On recent tours Richie kicked off the show behind the piano but this time around he rose up the catwalk and started the show with “Running with the Night.” Richie’s set was full of Commodores and solo hits like “Easy,” “Dancing on the Ceiling” with a bit of Van Halen’s “Jump,” “Brick House,” “Hello,” “Say You Say Me.” Before the encore Richie performed “We Are the World” which we co-wrote with Michael Jackson and sang the first verse of on the star-studded recording. Richie closed out the show with “All Night Long.”
Richie’s band is Ethan Farmer (Christina Aguilera/New Kids on the Block), Oscar Seaton (George Benson), keyboardist/musical directory Chuckii Booker (Kool & The Gang/Janet Jackson), saxophonist Dino Soldo (Leonard Cohen), and newest member Greg Suran who had just been a touring member of the B-52s for the last 10 years.
Richie is a four-time Grammy winner, Golden Globe winner and Oscar winner and the first to have an RIAA Diamond certified album.
The tour concludes September 15th at the KIA Forum in Inglewood, CA.