EARTH, WIND & FIRE Taking its name from the guiding elements in founder Maurice White's horoscope, Earth, Wind & Fire is slick and soulful, but often lacks the unpredictable and messy emotion of Water. At the dawn of the 1970s, EWF was part of an unofficial funk triumvirate including Sly & the Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic that forged a bridgehead into white-bread pop and busted down racial barriers. Espousing pan-cultural mysticism and snazzy showmanship, EWF did its damnedest to mash up the music, mixing soul, gospel, disco and rock into delectable pop. The group's horn-laden extravaganzas can still eclipse George Clinton's glittery cosmic slop, but they lack Sly or P-Funk's raw edge. EWF is seen less as a gutsy groover than as the Paul McCartney of funk. But like Sir Paulie, EWF's syrupy ballads and squeaky-clean image belie its ability to rock like a motherfunker. Especially on hits like "September" and "Shining Star." $40.50-$90.50.8 p.m. Ovens Auditorium. www.ovensauditorium.com.
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