Stevie Wonder: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY 11/17/07

For once in my life, I didn’t get exactly what I wanted at a concert and still walked out elated. In lieu of my desired throwback to nonstop ’70s funk from start to finish, Stevie Wonder instead turned in one of those legendary, well-rounded shows we’ll be talking about for decades. Saturday was mastery incarnate.

Take away the awe-inspiring Tony Bennett sit-in on For Once In My Life. Strip out Prince’s cool-as-fuck raunchy rhythm guitar cameo during Superstition. Stevie’s return to Madison Square Garden as a headliner for the first time in 11 years needed no celebrity frills — along with an eight-piece, three-singer band, Wonder played a monster two-and-a-half hour set filled with every possible hit.

The show was a bit more mellow, somber and emotional than I’d have preferred, but one thing is certain: That motherfucker can still play and sing as well as any time in his musical history. Close your eyes during Golden Lady or Too High and you’d think it’s 1974 and he’s touring behind Innervisions. His voice is still as powerful as ever, his personality as sharp as ever, his music downright timeless.

Sure I thought the show started out slow and that his backup band was the type you’d see at a reception celebrating a boy from the Goldstein or Schwartz clans becoming a man, but 150 straight minutes of Stevie fucking Wonder begets a huge smile from this jerk on his way out of the venue. Also, I now know that “God is Good” (as seen here during Saturday’s Master Blaster), and you can’t put a price on that. In lieu of continuing with one of them there proper reviews, I thought I’d turn to some non-pertinent news and notes for youse:

To read more about Stevie Wonder’s MSG show, head on over to Hidden Track..

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