Sunday, July 24, 2016

STEVIE WONDER (London Hyde Park, 10/07/16)

The fact that Stevie Wonder took almost four hours to complete performing an album that's only ninety minutes long is both a testament to the man's dedication to riffing off a piece, and also his frustrating tendency for self-indulgence. "Songs In The Key Of Life" isn't a natural fit for a festival setting in any event, with its second half full of obscurities, but there's no arguing that when he hit the mark, as he did with "Sir Duke"->"I Wish", he and his twenty-piece backing ensemble delivered as remarkable a live music experience as I've ever experienced in well over a thousand gigs. There's no real excuse the 30 minute interlude where every one of his backing singers got their own cover song to sing, but that was all forgotten by the time "DJ Tick Tick Boom" delivered the final double-whammy of "Signed, Sealed, Deliver" and an absolutely monstrous "Superstition." A show that epitomised "from the sublime to the ridiculous", although thankfully, ultimately leaning strongly towards the former.

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