Last night Stevie Wonder had a concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, in which he performed his complete 1976 album, "Songs in the Key of Life," plus some old favourites in the encore.
I last saw him almost exactly forty years ago, in October 1975, at Maple Leaf Gardens. That one still holds the title of The Best Concert Ever.
But there was lots to like in this concert, which Stevie said was part of his last ever North American tour. In no particular order, here are some highlights:
- his jazz harmonica riff, which suddenly segued into "Canadian Sunset" to honour us Canadians
- his playing and singing "Imagine" for John Lennon's birthday, October 9. When he broke into tears in the middle and couldn't sing, the audience helped him out and sang for him. Lit cell phones were waving in the air.
- his sense of play and humour. No matter what has happened in his personal life, he's still young at heart, ageless, an old soul combined with a mischievous twenty-year-old. His personality sparkles.
- his genuine gratitude to his accompaniers, his orchestra, and to the audience
Like my experience in 1975, the love was palpable.
If you can catch a performance of "Songs in the Key of Life" you won't be asking "If It's Magic?" You'll know that it is.