By Espen L. Espevalen
Pic by Peter Hellström

Dino"Langelandsfestivalen" Rudkøping Denmark, July 23rd. 1998
It looked like EWF had the elements on their side that evening. When I arrived, the rain was pouring down. Suddenly the the clouds broke up and the rain stopped, and just before the show started the bad weather turned into a beautiful summer night.

It all took off in a hard hitting version of "Mighty Mighty". The rhythm was tight and the sound was great from the first moment. You could hear everything crystal clear from the first note.

Then we all got what we came for. A line of classic songs like "Shining Star", "Head to the Sky" and "Let me talk". All excellent performed. The audience went wild, and everyone was dancing and singing. The band seemed to be in a very good mood too. They all looked great, smiling and waving to the crowd. Sheldon Reynolds did his little "jam session" with just his voice and guitar, and then followed up with the intro to "Sun Goddess". The stage exploded in light, sound and sweet harmonies and the rest of the night was one big party. 

One of the highlights that evening was when Philip Bailey gave us "I’ll write a song for you". He sat down on stage, thanked the audience for their love and support and did this wonderful song in a way that made the audience stand still and just listen. Sheldon Reynolds completed this part of the show with a great performance of "Be ever wonderful". I did not know that this guy was able to sing this good!!

After this little "rest", the band got us on our feet again. "In the stone" shaked the ground. Morris Pleasure left his keyboards and met Verdine White in a "bass-duel" in the middle of "Getaway", and together they created a magic moment. Philip Bailey followed up with "Fantasy and "Reasons".

EWF linked the different parts of the show together with great solo work from the four drummers. Sonny E gave a stunning performance as always, and the other guys did some fine work too. The horn section also did a excellent  job and Gary Bias’ sax solos are hard to forget. 

When you hear "Sing a song" you know you are getting close to the end of the show. This party tune always makes me happy and it must have had the same effect on the people around me. Everybody was clapping and dancing, and when the band kick-started "Boogie Wonderland" and followed with "Let’s Groove" there was no one standing still.  

The show ended with "Beijo" and "That’s the way of the world" and these two songs made a perfect final to a wonderful evening. From my place in the front row I could see that the band had enjoyed themselves that night and was happy with the show. They were smiling, waving and shouting to the crowd when they left stage. The audience loudly responded and gave the band a warm cheerful good bye.

Me and my five year old son (who got a pair of drumsticks from the band. Thank you Sheldon. I think you are the one who noticed the little fellow) left with a great feeling inside. It was a wonderful night, and I really hope the band will hit Scandinavia again on their next tour. 

Espen L. Espevalen


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