Reviews: Stevie Wonder


I was at the Summer Sonic 2010 music festival in Japan with a couple of buddies. The festival was split among six stages all arranged on a gigantic fairground, with at least a dozen playing at each stages over the course of the day. Stevie Wonder was in the program, set as the final act of easily the largest stage.

I was determined to see Stevie, so by the end of the day, I started heading for the stadium he was due to play in about fifty minutes before his concert began. Taylor Swift was performing when I got to the gigantic stage; I persevered through the last twenty minutes of her act, fought the tide of her die-hard fans at the front as they vacated, then waited half an hour right up at the edge of the stage while Stevie's group set up. When they were done, I turned, and found I was dead-center, at the very front of easily 100,000 people.

And then Stevie showed up on stage, guided by his son. He sat down at his piano, with a round dozen soul brothers and sisters around him, and began to play.

Stevie went all-out; he played all his classics. Superstition, Sir Duke, Higher Ground, everything, and they sounded 10 times better than my old vinyls made them out to be. A Japanese teenager, maybe a couple years older than me, had his arm around my shoulder, laughing his head off in sheer joy, and singing along to lyrics he couldn't understand a word of. Somewhere along the line, Stevie Wonder bonded the entire crowd together; we were all sisters and brothers, regardless of race or age.

When he was finally finished, Stevie walked up to the front of the stage, not even fifteen feet away from me, and he announced to all of us, "I know that all of you here in front of me have hearts, and I want you all to use your hearts to love somebody! And later, if you think you're up to it, I want you all to use your hearts to love EVERYBODY!" And even though maybe 10% of the audience actually understood everything he said, we all knew regardless what he meant.

I'm 16 years old as of writing this, and I can safely say that Stevie Wonder renovated my life as of that concert. We're all humans, we're all brothers and sisters before the infinity.