Time For One Of The World’s Greatest Performers Live!
I got to experience one of the greatest concert performances ever – Stevie Wonder’s 3+ hour celebration of one of his classic albums, plus so much more!
“Song In The Key Of Life”, LIVE!
Stevie Wonder is currently in the midst of a unique concert tour, performing his classic album
“Songs in the Key of Life” in its entirety! Here is a look at the concert, and this iconic musical Artist.
Stevie Wonder is one of the most legendary Artists in music, with such pop classics as”You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”, “Livin’ For The City”, “My Cherie Amour” and “Signed Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours).” By the mid-seventies, Wonder was also one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters as well. “Innervision” and “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” were both Grammy Award winners for Album of the Year in 1973 and 1975.
His magnum opus however was “Songs In The Key Of Life” – a double album from 1976 that was so stuffed with music that four ADDITIONAL songs were added on an extended single as well! It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart that year!
An Album Full Of Classic Stevie Wonder Songs!
The album is well known for such classic Stevie Wonder singles as “Sir Duke”, “I Wish” and “Isn’t She Lovely”, as well as album tracks such as “Pastime Paradise”, “As” and “Saturn”.
Wonder won four Grammys for the album in 1976, including the coveted Album of the Year, as well as Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Producer of the Year.
Stevie Wonder Live!
And now, this legendary singer has taken the classic album on tour! Wonder is playing the album in its entirety live, and I got the chance to see him perform at Chicago’s United Center on November 14!
Here we are before the show began, settling into our seats just ten rows back from the stage, about ten rows up – a perfect vantage point…
Behold India Arie!
One of the great surprises of the show is the incredible vocal work of India Arie, who performs along with Wonder – here is a great picture from the Chicago Tribune review of the show:
In addition to Arie, the stage is packed with a huge band: a horn section, six backup singers and a string section as well – the stage is packed with musical talent!
Wonder is brought onto the stage by Arie, and once he settles down behind his piano, he tears into the entire first half of the album with energy – and a flawless voice! Here is a piece of his classic song “Sir Duke!” performed live – with flawless musicianship:
“Isn’t She Lovely!”
The band takes a break after performing the first half of the album, the highlight being a spirited version of Wonder’s classic “Isn’t She Lovely” – performed with his daughter Aisha Morris, who he wrote the song for when she was a baby!
Aisha is one of the back up singers, and she gets plenty of opportunity to shine as well throughout the show…
Whether it was a classic hit like “Isn’t She Lovely” or one of the album tracks like “Ebony Eyes”, Wonder and the entire band was flawless – the singer’s voice hans’t changed at all, and he was playful, upbeat and energetic the entire night – you could literally feel the songs through him…here is a portion of his performance of the album track “Saturn”, joined by India Arie:
DJ Tick Tick Boom!
The show closes with a very funny set by DJ Tick Tick Boom! Yes, Stevie Wonder takes on the personal of “Tick Tick” in order to sample a variety of his classic songs!
The band performed short versions of a multitude of his signature hits like “Master Blaster”, “Signed Sealed Delivered” and “My Cherie Amour” – here he is live, discussing “Tick Tick” and then exhorting the audience to sing along:
As you can hear, Wonder’s voice is perfect – and he has tens of thousands of back up singers on the song. Then the singer ends with a ferocious, sing-a-long version of “Superstition”…and the entire arena sang along with him…an exhilarating ending to one of the greatest concert performances I had ever seen…
An incredible night – we all agree it was one of the best single concerts we had ever seen…kudos to Stevie!