Tuesday 30th September 2008
My very own Stevie Wonder ‘European Mini-Tour’ came to end with another performance back at the O2, London. And probably for the first time in my life I was lost for words, but not for reasons I thought possible.
The previous show at the O2 received mixed reviews. Fans of Stevie’s music enjoyed the show, whilst fans of Stevie’s hits enjoyed the hits. The feeling was that this show would be no different. We took our floor seats again, just 3 rows further back than last time out. However, we’d lost the massive dancing area, gained by having front row seats.
The concert was about to begin, when I spotted someone who looked vaguely familiar. After moments of deliberation, I had a feeling it was Milton Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s brother. I instantly jumped out my seat and walked (quickly) to catch him up. Not really knowing what to do once I’d caught up with him. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked “are you Stevie Wonder’s brother?”. At first, he wasn’t really sure what to make of me and my sudden approach. “I was at your birthday party at the Globen in Stockholm”. He smiled. “Actually, this is my 6th night, as I’ve also been to Birmingham, Manchester, Stockholm, Paris and now the 2nd time at the O2”. You could now see in his eyes a certain element of surprise.
Milton then asked “Are you going to the shows in Birmingham [Oct 3rd] and Manchester [Oct 4th]?”, replying with “Unfortunately, this is my last one, as I didn’t get tickets”. At this point, I thought I was taking up too much of his time, but amazingly he was now the one asking all the questions. I’m not one to feel star struck by any personality, as we’re all humans at the end of the day, but I could tell I was starting to feel a bit nervous. Probably the feeling of being in a quiz, where your life depended on you answering the next question correctly. Stupid really as they were all simple questions.
This is best described when Milton asked “Where are you sitting?”. I looked round and said “er D Block, 3rd row, down there”. Why oh why didn’t I just give my seat number, rather than mumbling whilst pointing to a block in the distance? Who knows, by simply pointing to a vague area, I may have out on the opportunity to get VIP tickets to a show, meeting Stevie Wonder back stage or even getting a mention at the O2. In any case, I met and had a photo taken with Milton Hardaway!
And now to Milton’s brother, Stevie Wonder. Once again, Aisha brought her father on to the stage, whilst performing All Blues by Miles Davis, showcasing his Harmonica skills. Then straight into As If You Read My Mind, Master Blaster, All I Do, Did I Hear You Say You Love Me and Knocks Me Off My Feet.
Stevie Wonder then performed ‘futuristic renditions’ of London Bridge is Falling, Fool On The Hill, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I Can’t Get Your Satisfaction and People Make The World Go Round. A storming performance of Higher Ground followed, before introducing his band with Chick Corea’s Spain and continuing with Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, Visions, Living For The City, Part-Time Lover, Overjoyed and Lately.
Aisha’s solo I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life, with Stevie taking over with My Cherie Armour. Joss Stone then joined on stage to duet on Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours. He closed with performances of Sir Duke, I Wish, Isn’t She Lovely, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, I Just Called To Say I Love You, Superstition including So What The Fuss and finally As.
Another great show for lovers of Stevie Wonder’s vast back catalogue. One friend mentioned, that Visions was phenomenal. I was left with the impression others left enjoying part of the concert, as not all the songs featured were on their greatest hit CD. Whilst I never got to hear any live songs I hadn’t heard before, I did hear an enjoyable and well thought out UK medley of tunes, a snippet of So What The Fuss and of course, above all else, I met Milton Hardaway!