Target Center, Minneapolis
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Stevie Wonder was in no rush. It had been 27 years since he'd last performed in the Twin Cities, after all, and anyway we were gonna be here all night -- or at least till nearly midnight. Guided by R&B singer India.Arie (a woman of many dazzling outfits, as we would come to learn over the next three hours), the 64-year-old singer arrived onstage nearly a half-hour behind schedule. And still, he took the time to speak at length about the importance of love and to inveigh against hatred, which he called a way of "blocking your blessing" from God.
Probably no other living musician has the grace and moral authority to talk that way without coming off as a cornball or a blowhard. Yet Wonder's invocation was not just touching -- it was an ideal introduction to "Love's in Need of Love Today," the opening track from his 1976 double-LP Songs in the Key of Life, which he was in town to play in its entirety. (Including each of the four songs from the bonus seven-inch EP that accompanied the album's original release.)
Like that best-selling classic recording itself, the live performance didn't simply justify its excesses but rendered them essential, expressing the star's boundless creativity and insisting that an inexhaustible abundance of joy exists in the world for anyone willing to seek it.More »