Thursday, October 4, 2007

Stevie Wonder show

I can't tell you how great the Stevie Wonder show was last week at the Bank of Whatever Pavilion in Boston. Words can simply not do justice to the almost 3 hours of incredible songs, performances, singing, emotional drama, sound, etc. I have never seen anything so thoroughly and intensely entertaining, soul-satisfying, and artful. I have been a fan since childhood, Songs in the Key of Life being the first LP I actually went to the store to purchase. I have seen him in concert once before, at the Wang Center. And that was fine, but it is as if he is now performing with heightened inspiration, which he is, apparently. In a moving introduction, accompanied by his daughter Aisha, Stevie dedicated the show to his recently deceased mother, who basically told him to get off his ass and go do what he was put on earth to do.

And there is no doubt that no one else in the world was more clearly intended to write and perform music than Wonder. I left the show absolutely stunned, gobstruck by the utter genius and mastery effortlessly demonstrated by Wonder that night. The man just exudes music. He sings as fabulously as ever. He seems to be missing zero in terms of range. And the songs -- hits and deep album track alike -- were an embarrassment of riches. I am unlikely to see anyone else that approaches this level of musical genius in my lifetime -- an expert multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, improviser, performer. It has started a mini debate amongst my music buddies and so far no one has come up with any other figure in pop music that has accomplished all that Wonder has in all of those categories. I challenge you all, but perhaps not until you get to witness the man soon (hopefully he tours again soon) to remind you of just how much of a force this man is.

7 comments:

Scott said...

You've obviously never seen Fred Durst.

Ian said...

I'm with you Bill, the man is MUSIC! I just hope he decides to come to England one day soon.

Still loving your work by the way, it was great to see you back in London in the summer.

tww said...

stevie is in a class of his own. i totally agree.

elliott smith was maybe the best songwriter of this generation, and he played a lot of instruments, but he can't touch wonder.

Paul said...

I still think that The Spin Doctors had it together...just my opinion

Tobias Preisegott Burton said...

People!
Spin Doctors had a good song, Elliott Smith was great, Wonder probably really is, I'm sad to say I've never seen and should expolre him more. But Scott, Fred Durst??? Was that joke?
And hopefully, Bill, you HAVE never seen Durst, time is so valuable.

My recommendation would be (Leslie) FEIST. Have seen her five times now and she obviously plays in a league of her own, see her if you can, and of course, also buy the last two records, "Let it die" and "The Reminder".
Tobi

Anonymous said...

Sir Duke always puts me in a good mood.

Andrew C. said...

(This is edited nd reposted by Bill as per request of original poster, who wanted to be more anon.)



Stevie Wonder is the closest thing to a genius it's possible to be. For anyone with any interest in music not to have his run of masterpiece albums from the seventies is insane.


REASONS TO LOVE STEVIE:

1) His albums:
BUY THESE ALBUMS NOW:

-Signed Sealed Delivered
(fantastic album the last before he got a contract allowing his artistic freedom. This is an AMAZING pop album. Can you believe music like this was pop music in the 60s?? It's not fair.

-Where I'm coming from
The first album where Stevie could wander where he wanted artisticly. Underrated and very hard to get hold of.

-Talking Book
Amazing album including the classics 'you are the sunshine of my life' and 'superstition' along with others.

-Songs in the key of life
No need to explain this one. ALTHOUGH lots of songs extensively covered by other artists such as George Michael, Will Smith and COOLIO! (whenever I hear pasttime paradise I can't get Gangsters paradise out of my head!). Kind of taints the originals when you listen to them. Also the 80s production which ruined Stevies laters albums is just a tiny bit starting to creep in. BUT PLEASE IGNORE THE ABOVE BECAUSE THIS IS AN AMAZING ALBUM.

-Music of my mind.
My favourite Stevie Wonder album for personal reasons. This album is full of joy.

-Fullfilingness finale (this album is worth buying because of the beautiful song 'HEAVEN IS 10 ZILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY. When he sings 'Why must my color black make me a lesser man' to a beautuful melody it brings goosebumps and tears to my eyes.

2) HE IS COOL.
He is blind, sings about god and writes the happiest songs full of hope and postitiveness you've ever heard. Not exactly a recipe for coolness. BUT in the seventies (and in my opinion now) he was the COOLEST person on the block.


3) THE VOICE
The man can sing. If you can find it buy 'live at talk of the town' and listen to the live version of 'never had a dream come true'. It made a grown 31 year old man cry.


4) THE MESSAGE - HOPE, LOVE HAPPYNESS.
Stevie Wonder is one of those rare artists who can write a joyful song (as well as heart stopping ballads) without sounding remotely cheesy. Listen to SIR DUKE.

The closest thing I have to religion is music. It's where I go when I feel lost or sad or happy. In a modern world where we're too intelligent to believe in anything the can't be scientifically proven music is the closest thing to magic we have and STEVIE WONDER IS MUSIC!!
October 14, 2007 2:47 PM