June 22, 2024

Opinion: Stevie Wonder concert brings surprises, appreciation

Legendary singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Stevie Wonder performed on Tuesday at Thompson-Boling Arena as part of his “Songs in the Key of Life” tour.

Stevie Wonder and Nathan Watts taken in 2006 // Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons found at www.creativecommons.org

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Stevie Wonder is a very accomplished rhythm and blues (R&B) and soul artist. He was signed to Motown’s Tamla label at age 11, and with hit singles including “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Superstition,” Wonder has been warming listeners’ hearts with his creative and innovative music ever since.

From winning 25 Grammy awards to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the 65-year-old singer, songwriter and instrumentalist has left a legacy on the music industry.

Wonder performed at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 10 as part of his tour “Songs in the Key of Life.” What I came looking for from the concert and what I took from it ended up being two completely different things.

Wonder’s performance began with a warm welcome and a short speech centered on the love Americans should have for one another and the coming together of all differences. He also expressed his love for the night he was about to share with the audience, a love that manifested all throughout his performances.

It was immediately recognized that he was one of the sweetest, most humble people, and was sincere in making the crowd feel even more excited to be sharing space with such a legend.

Wonder performed songs off one of his most critically acclaimed albums, “Songs in the Key of Life.” Every song was perfect. His backup singers were just as amazing and talented. He also had an amazing band behind him and a group of violinists that played such an authentic sound.

The UT choir performed a selection with Wonder, which was clearly the experience of a lifetime. He even brought out his four youngest children and sang “Happy Birthday” to his girlfriend, Tomeeka Robyn Bracy.

The audience became pumped and excited throughout the night every time Wonder would perform another beloved song. Wonder performed in a way no other artist could and the crowd was consistently pleased.

It was easy to tell that Wonder is a kind-hearted person from what he said on stage, but he was also surprisingly funny. Not just because he’s famous, but because he was down to earth. His music performances made you want to cry, shout and dance all in one night. This was a special gift he gave to us audiences members.

This show was definitely an experience to be remembered and easily one of the best live performances anyone could ever hope for. Standing ovation for the legendary Stevie Wonder!

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons, retrieved through creativecommons.org

Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt