Tonight was always going to be special

The last time Stevie Wonder played in Manchester the Berlin wall still stood, Ronald Reagan was President of the USA and Chernobyl was a place no one had ever heard of - so tonight was always going to be special even before a note was played.

In absence of any support acts, a Mexican wave more than sufficed and gave those who took to their seats early, a wry sense of accomplishment. Then it began and for the next 2 hours 40 minutes straight, Stevie and his band were flawless and so proficient it was overawing. With a blend of classics and newer material, a perfect balance and ordering was struck to keep everyone thoroughly entertained.

Playing almost 30 songs with his 14 person accompaniment, he didn’t even break a sweat as he delved deep into his back catalogue. A journey through the ages of soul music from the ‘Little Stevie’ era straight through to his modern work, each track blossomed and got even the most introverted on their feet. From the slower earlier pace of ‘Ribbon in the sky’ building into a gallop of ‘Superstition’ and ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours’, the pacing of the set list really helped the atmosphere and vibe of the show.

Then it was over in flash, but now we can all say we’ve seen Stevie Wonder live and that’s something special. As however you view the modern music scene there are very few artists who you can go and see, that you’ll still be talking about in 20 years time.


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