Dubbed as a “historic one night only event” fans knew they were in for something special Monday night. Stevie Wonder is a living legend with 26 albums and 25 grammy’s to his name spanning over 50 years. His most acclaimed album being his 18th, Songs in the Key of Life. This performance was a celebration of that double length collection.
Stevie made his way to the stage, not delving into song right away or flashy graphics displaying on screen. He addressed the crowd immediately and ensured them it would be a night to remember. He spoke fondly of Pittsburgh the hometown of his first wife and let the city know the tour was extended over 2 years so they could be a part of it.
For those familiar with the classic album the set-list came as no surprise, running cover to cover with crowd favorites “Sir Duke” and “I Wish” playing consecutively. The stage was loaded with incredible musicians to help pull this night off, with members from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, backing vocalists and a rhythm section that would have made James Brown jealous. Stevie Wonder’s voice is masterful, hitting all the notes and ranges that made him so popular years ago. His stage presence is lively and crowd pleasing. He is engaging on songs like “Past time Paradise,” and “Another Star.”
His piano work is flooring and harmonica skills are something special doing a “Star Spangled Banner” solo that would be hard to rival by any musician. Stevie reminisced about his younger days, listening to The Skyliners, a Pittsburgh doo wop band popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The band was in attendance and were in awe after being invited on stage to sing their hit single “Since I don’t Have You.”
If the entirety of this album were not enough, Stevie finished off the night with a montage of some of his biggest hits playing snippets of “Signed Sealed Delivered,” “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Overjoyed,” and closing out with “Superstition.” It was easy to think Stevie would have performed for 2 hours, maybe 2 and a half, but with only a 15 minute intermission, Wonder played a 3 hour marathon set proving once again why he was put on this earth.