Stevie Wonder returns to Detroit; captivates audience
By Elaine Gerou
Some concerts are entertaining, but others are moving. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life on Nov. 21 at the Joe Louis Arena was a magnificent moving experience for all who attended. After all these years of making and performing music, Wonder’s vocal cords not only sound phenomenal still, his passion to perform still burns like fire.
With nearly every seat filled, Wonder played all of the songs off his 18th album “Songs in the Key of Life,” which was released on Sept. 28, 1976 through Motown Records. Wonder even added more of his own hits, such as “Superstition,” and other Motown hits, playing great tunes with hardly any break between songs from 8:45 p.m. to 12:25 a.m. with only one short intermission. The crowd loved it, dancing along in the aisles.
Wonder was not the only great talent on stage either. This concert may have been one of the most talented combinations of musicians and singers to come to Detroit in a long time. On stage, there was a small orchestra, two drummers—one hand drummer, a grand piano, a synthesizer, a keyboard, guitars, a bass, harmonicas and according to Wonder, “the funkiest horns on the planet.” In addition to all the instruments and musicians, there were also several extremely talented backup singers from across the globe, all of which could potentially be the lead singer of their own band. All of the backup singers got there own time to shine, showing off their powerful vocal cords with a song of choice.
The best part about the evening’s musical selections was that each song sent out only positive vibes. Wonder’s music created an atmosphere full of love and acceptance.
This show went beyond loving music though, as Wonder gave the crowd his thoughts on some of society’s issues. He spoke about the recent attacks in Paris, saying he was heartbroken about what is going on in the world.
“Any killing of any people has nothing to do with God,” commented Wonder.
He then went on to say that he saw all murderers of any kind as a terrorist and that we must come together in peace for the good of human kind. Throughout the night, his music seemed to bring people together for the love of tasteful music, and it connected his speech with the performance.
“We can fix it [the world’s issues] with a little bit more love and respect,” he said.
He also said that we the people need to talk to government officials about our school systems, and he emphasized that arts should be brought back immediately for kids to express themselves in nonaggressive ways. He also touched on needing more face-to-face interactions and communication, such as eating dinner together as families without cellphones.
“Keep it real,” he said.
Throughout the show, Wonder sang, played piano, the keyboard, the synthesizer and the harmonica. At 65-years-old, Wonder has not lost a beat. Having been born in Saginaw, it was a gift to have Wonder perform in the mitten again. It will surely be a long time until a show as positive and wonderful as this one comes to Detroit again.