Of course. He’s Stevie Wonder!
This was the first time I’ve ever been to a Stevie Wonder concert. Can I admit something embarrassing? Actually, there are going to be two embarrassing admissions in this post.
For one thing, I’ve never actually listened all the way through the album Songs in the Key of Life. I heard songs I’ve never heard before. (I know, it’s a travesty.) Obviously I knew the more popular songs from the album – “Isn’t She Lovely,” “Sir Duke,” “I Wish.” But there were many songs I didn’t know.
In fact, let’s just jump into that second embarrassing admission now. I always get so judgmental when people don’t know where their music comes from. When I worked on America’s Got Talent and people would come in to audition for us, and they’d declare they were singing a song from Glee or American Idol, I’d always want to say “Do you mean from Journey?” (or whomever sang the song). (I never did though, because we were nice to everyone and worked not to throw anyone off.)
So, that’s a pet peeve of mine. But let me tell you, “Gangster’s Paradise” is my freaking jam! I LOVE that song so much. It’s heavily rotated on my workout playlist.
I had no idea until this concert… that was a Stevie Wonder song! “Pastime Paradise” is on the album Songs in the Key of Life. As soon as those extremely recognizable string parts stared playing, I was like “uuuuh, what?”
We actually had programs (which had braille on the cover – cool, right?).
I haven’t been to many concerts (maybe any?) that had programs. But we had one. So I was able to see what was playing. And by golly, I learned that my freaking jam was a remake. So, huge apologies to Stevie Wonder and the world in general for being so ignorant about where some of my favorite music comes from.
Stevie had a number of guests – India Arie and John Mayer just to name a few. Seeing such a great concert (with multiple Berklee alums onstage), I’ll admit pulled at my heart-strings a bit and sort of almost made me want to move back to Boston and just focus on all that again. But that’s not happening anytime soon.
I will say that even though I easily should’ve been able to gather this information before, I did not realize Stevie Wonder was so religious. One of the first things he said was, “We all know the real reason for this season.” I thought that was a bit off-putting because there are many other faiths and holidays out there.
(And wasn’t Jesus’ birthday moved to December to compete with other holidays? Am I getting that wrong? Is that a real fact or something I just heard once on TV?)
But, he was playing to his crowd for sure, because the majority of the house totally ate that up.
Also, I wondered something I’d never thought about before… We gave him multiple standing ovations. Do you think Stevie Wonder can hear when we stand? Do you think he hears the sound of applause move up in space? I bet he can… But I’m just curious. I’ve never thought about it sound-wise. Anytime I’ve been lucky enough to be onstage for a standing o, I’ve been able to see the crowd stand… So, I just wonder… could we hear it?
Also, I’m sure Stevie Wonder’s sense of hearing is much more keen than most, since he has to rely on it more than many people do. So maybe he can…
Anyway, great show. Lots of enjoyment and dancing all around me – especially for “I Wish.” Everybody loved that song!
I’m very grateful to my friend Billy who thought to take me.
And if you’re interested in Stevie Wonder, apparently he plays a show every year at the Nokia Theatre (and has been doing so for the past 18 years?!).