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Concert Review: Stevie Wonder - Greek Theater 9/5/07

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Toward the end of his Greek Theater appearance on Wednesday, Stevie Wonder called for his daughter – “Aisha!!!” – as a familiar drum/bass line crept out of the background, and the band swung into Isn’t She Lovely, the song written about her some thirty-odd years ago. For a few seconds, the Jumbotron screens were filled with the two of them, Stevie bobbing back and forth intensely, Aisha gazing at him with great love as he began to sing.

Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious, less than one minute old
I can’t believe what God has done
From us he’s given life to one
Isn’t she lovely, made from love

It was a moment that sounds like it’s being played for corn, and I’m sure they do this every night on tour, but every person there bought it. It was, like so many moments that evening, incredibly moving.

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Stevie Wonder’s songs have a way of getting to the heart of the matter. During two and a half hours on stage, he got to the heart of a lot of things. Big stuff. His mother’s death, which he explained during a brief monologue at the opening was the inspiration for this exceedingly rare road trip, and described hearing a spectral voice that said “Boy, you better get your ass out of bed!” Injustice, leading the audience through a chant of “Stop the war! Stop the killing!” during a shockingly powerful rendition of Visions. Enlightenment, bringing the crowd to its feet with that unstoppable clarinet riff that kicks off Higher Ground, all of us pledging to Keep On Tryin’. Love, so many times, so beautifully, never more so than during a sparkling Ribbon In The Sky. And even Fun, celebrating the good old days of doctor-playing in I Wish.