STEVIE WONDER [What Stage| Saturday, June 12 @ 8:30 p.m.]
Leading up to Stevie's set, the general consensus among those had never seen him was one of trepidation. If he stuck to the jams, we could witness one of the all-time great headlining sets at Roo. If he strayed too far into his adult-contemporary standards, we could be in for a borefest. What we all seemed to be forgetting is that there's a reason Stevie has been in the music business for half a century. He's a consummate professional who delivered the best-case scenario with ease. Taking us on a trip that ran back and forth through his storied timeline from the Motown hit "Uptight" and eventually landing at "Superstition," he managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy with a percussive ragtime onslaught and a shitload of instructional sing-alongs. Even after the preachy statement song "A Time to Love" (from the 2005 Starbucks-peddled album of the same name) sucked the energy out of the crowd, Wonder managed to reengage the audience by bringing a 10-piece tribal rhythm section out to the left of the stage and a 10-piece choir to the right. The man's an entertainer through and through.
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