The Forum Becomes a Boogie Wonderland: I don’t know why, but the Kia Forum was intense on Friday night. Way, way more intense that usual and it made little sense. The parking lot was sold out, so attendees were left to pay $75 (WTF?) to park across the road at the SoFi Stadium, or find their own alternative in the Wild West that is the permit-controlled surrounding Inglewood streets. I’ve been going to shows at the Forum for years and have never seen such a shit show in that regard.

Once in though, the entertainment was magnificent. Chicago’s Earth, Wind & Fire have been a going concern since 1969, so that’s 54 years of funk-soul-pop-jazz brilliance. The setlist in Inglewood was insane — every song a freaking gem.

From the opening “Shining Star,” through their perfect covers of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and David Foster’s “After the Love Has Gone,” not a moment was wasted. Visually, they’re wonderful too. From the outfits to the dancing to the images on the giant screen, EW&F are a trip.

Best of all is legendary bassist Verdine White. The man with the magical hair struts about the stage like the bass wizard that he is, and it’s tough to take your eyes off of him when the band plays classics like “Fantasy,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “September.”



LionelRichie Kia Forum

Lionel Richie (Timothy Norris / Kia Forum Photos)

Motown icon Lionel Richie appeared out of the floor to the opening bars of “Hello” like an angel — a glorious being that is gifting us with his presence. It’s clear as he starts to sing that ballad that his voice is different nowadays; less smooth and a little sharper. But different doesn’t necessarily mean worse, and Richie’s strength and no small amount of charisma carries the show.
Like Earth, Wind & Fire, his setlist is a joy. We got a lot of Commodores tunes, including bonafide classics like “Easy,” “Sail On,” “Three Times a Lady” and a riotous “Brick House.” We got to dance like loons to “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and the ladies got to sing Miss Diana Ross’ parts on “Endless Love” (after Richie pranked us into thinking the lady herself might be there).

Last year, I saw Midge Ure and Howard Jones sing “Do They Know it’s Christmas” at the Ace Hotel Theatre, and it was equally surreal to see Richie sing “We Are the World” at the Forum. He didn’t sing all the verses — he didn’t do, for example, Michael Jackson’s bit. But still it was wonderful, weird and fun.

Richie closed with “All Night Long,” which was appropriate because we were humming Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire songs all night long. And the next day too.

Lionel Richie Setlist Kia Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA 2023, Sing a Song All Night Long












































































Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.