Happy New Year!
From the archives of Family Groove Records, here’s Earth, Wind & Fire performing “That’s The Way Of The World” from their 1976 Spirit Tour (August 1, 1976 – Capital Centre – Landover, MD).
On opening night of the tour, the stage was filled with three massive pyramids surrounded by fog. The lights rose as the hydraulic doors slowly opened, revealing us standing there, dressed in red robes, silently glaring at the audience. I had never heard anything like the roar of the crowd. It was an earthquake-like rumble that was deafening.
In 1976, this kind of elaborate production was extraordinary. The spectacle and the audience’s response to it were gratifying, and helped to heal our minds after the loss of (Charles) Stepney.
The Spirit tour, which went to eighty cities, ultimately was our most successful tour to date. We were outgrossing Elton John and the Eagles in most venues.
For years we played at the DC Armory. After “Shining Star,” we started to play in the brand-new 22,000-seat Capital Centre on the outskirts of town, in Landover, Maryland. We would play there two or three nights in a row. Some folks thought they could come to the box office and buy a ticket, but we were sold out for all the performances weeks in advance. In 1976 there was a riot outside before our show. People were breaking windows and vandalizing cars because they couldn’t get tickets. It made national news. Our fans eventually got the message: purchase tickets early.
– Maurice White. My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire, by Maurice White with Herb Powell, 2016.