Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stevie Wonder - Comcast Center Mansfield Ma June 22, 2008

Stevie Wonder
Comcast Center, Mansfield MA
Sunday, June 22, 2008

Check another one off the list.

It may sound bad, jaded, or even elitist but with the ever changing land scape of music you can easily ask yourself who is on your "must see" list of bands or artists. Having the ability due to time, age and being pretty close to a major city seeing bands is not too hard. The "list" fell by one more artist last week, when I finally saw Stevie Wonder.

Billed as a "Wonder's Summer Night" it was going to (hopefully) be a hit driven marathon of a show. Well it was.

Arriving on stage with his daughter (and back up singer) Aisha Morris Stevie took the microphone to a thunderous roar and standing ovation. He spoke of the recent NBA Finals, the political race and what have you. He was very silly, almost giddy. He sat center stage with 2 keyboards facing out towards the audience and full grand piano to one side. He was backed by 13 other members. The stage was almost overflowing but the sound almost seemed to warrant him having that many players on stage. Right behind Stevie was his long time bassist Nate Watts. (I read he has been his bass player for 30+ years!). Behind him was drummer Stanley Randolf and on risers both sides of him was Munyungo Jackson and Fausto Cuevas, who were each on percussion. In front of them on each side was two guitar players Errol Cooney and Kyle Bolden. We also had two keyboardists way over to the left, and right. Roman Johnson and Victoria Thodore held down those spots. Whew, keep going here, tack on two horn players Ryan Kilgore and Dwight Adams up to Stevies right, and finally three back up singers. Ryan Kilgore was the male and two females (one was Aisha Morris).

The crowd was mixed and ready to have some fun, but most of them sat down as "As If you Read My Mind" began. The music was well mixed as we went in to "Master Blaster (Jammin') and the audience was well on its way to head bobbing along.

Being a taller guy, and close to the stage I was trying to play along but come "Higher Ground" it was time for me to get up and have some fun. People followed suit.

The band was tight, and Stevie would rely on hand motions to signal to the band for an extended solo or what have you. We'd alternate between a guitar solo, then a keyboard solo all the while Stevie would hold court.

Stevie asked the men in the audience something along the lines of "How many of you have used my music to get with your lady?" The crowd both cheered and laughed and Stevie had a laugh as well. He'd try to tell a story later and people would shout and he'd say "I can't speak while you are" and imitate a noisy animal or something, it was clever and humbling.

Stevie had Aisha over to the keyboard to sing solo on "I'm Gonna Laugh you out of my Life" and it was not too bad, and as she got up to head back to side stage to get back to her backup singer role, Stevie took off with "Isn't She Lovely". A little later Stevie went seeking a female that was dancing the best, to dance with him. What would ensue was pure comedy..and Stevie was all smiles per the norm (the woman was thrilled to boot)

They really had us in the palm of their hands and happened.

About 20 before 11 Stevie mentions something about a DJ, a contest and what have you. A woman won the chance of a lifetime on a local radio station..a chance to sing with Stevie. Sound cool? Sure...but you'd figure something like this would be better planned out. Sort of "here are 2 songs you can choose from and here is what we can do". Well they began to talk and decide what they wanted to do. They ended up doing "Living For the City" which they had already done. The upside was it was about one verse, chorus etc and then Stevie said "I have another one we can do..come with me". So he sits her down at his piano and they launch in to "Superstition" For the next 10+ minutes he'd sort of feed her the lines and the band sort of played right along. A money song was sort of brought down honestly. No offense to the woman in her spirit and voice..but this would end up being the show closer (no encore) and it is SUCH a great song you sort of want to be greedy based off the price of the ticket et all. Still, it was great and could have been even greater.

You should see him once if you get the chance. A few more pictures are here as well (after the set list)..but the spot light never strayed Stevie and I was getting a horrible glare off the keyboards...oh well you get the idea.

The full set list:

As If You Read My Mind >
Master Blaster (Jammin')
Did I Hear You Say You Love Me
All I Do
Knocks Me Off My Feet
Higher Ground
Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing
Living for the City
Golden Lady
Keep Fooling Yourself Baby Girl
Sweetest Somebody I Know
I'm Gonna Laugh You Out of My Life*
Isn't She Lovely
Ribbons in the Sky
Have a Talk With God
My Cherie Amour
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Sir Duke
I Wish
Do I Do
Living for the City **
* sung by Stevies Daughter Aisha
** contest winner



At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:01:00 PM , Blogger Mr. A said...

Sounds like a great show... I sorta wonder why people give him a "standing ovation"

Wouldn't a really spirted seated one be just as good?

Sorta reminds me of the time President Bush waved to him... True story.

At Thursday, July 03, 2008 3:51:00 PM , Blogger Ello said...

Pearl Jam and then Stevie Wonder?!!!! How cool are you?! You are too lucky. And the story about him asking how many men used his music to get their lady? That is really sweet. Thanks for taking us there with you!

At Friday, July 04, 2008 3:42:00 PM , Blogger Hotwire said...

there are not many artists who, when i listen to them i don't feel worthy, and stevie is at the top of that very short list...

At Monday, November 23, 2009 7:23:00 PM , Blogger gigiwonder said...

this was omgggggggggggg i love this man i played ufter show so i am done happy like never before:))))))))))))))))

At Monday, November 23, 2009 7:25:00 PM , Blogger gigiwonder said...

stevie i love youuuuuuuuuuuu you sang and i played omggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg woooooooooooooo you are god of universe and music!!!!!!!!


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