LIVE, LAUGH, AND LEARN... welcome to the co.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Let me start this post off by saying, if you ever have a chance to see Stevie Wonder live, you should really act upon it. Last night, I was one of many who packed the Shoreline Amphitheater for one of the best outdoor concerts of the summer. It was an amazing event; not only because of Stevie's energy and stage presence but also because of the diverse crowd he brought together. He seriously had folks of all ages --whether they were friends, lovers, or families --dancing in the aisles and singing along all night long. The outdoor setting and occasional shooting stars didn't hurt either. I know my post will hardly do justice, but I'll try my best to share the night's events.

We arrived a few minutes before 7:30 and claimed our spot at the top of the lawn. We were waaay up there, but at least we were in the center and brought some nice cozy picnic blankets. The show was supposed to start at 7:30 and by 8:15, with no Stevie in sight, the crowd was getting antsy... but as the gentleman next to us said, "who's gonna boo Stevie?" so everyone sat patiently and cheered any time something moved on stage or lights flickered. We were ready.

Around 8:30, Stevie walked out as his daughter, Aisha, held his arm and his adorable six year old son, Kailand, held his hand. Before getting into things, he introduced his kids and thanked us for joining him. Considering the size of the venue and crowd, this was a perfect way to create an intimate setting.

He and his 10-piece band and three backup singers opened with "As if You Read My Mind" and followed up with three other songs off of his 1980's album Hotter Than July. Although this album isn't one of my personal favorites, it was still incredible to hear the songs live and seriously heart-warming to see everyone dancing and completely in the moment. It's amazing to see what good soulful music can do and what it can inspire. For me, it was "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" that brought me to my feet. Or maybe, ironically enough, it was "Knocks Me off My Feet" (I can't remember which one came first). Either way, both are classics that slipped my mind, but the minute I heard 'em gave me a warm-fuzzy-feeling (yes, I said "warm-fuzzy-feeling;" don't act like Stevie don't do that to you too).

After this it's hard to remember the sequence of hits. I recorded my top favs on my trusty little Pentax Optio, but since we were sitting so far away there's not much to see (which is why I say you should just go see Stevie for yourself!) He absolutely killed it with "Living for the City", "Higher Ground", and "Visions". It was hilarious (and cute) to see the folks in front of us sit down for a breather in between songs only to jump back up a minute later for another song they were feelin'. Even all the way at the top of the grassy hill, Stevie was rockin' the crowd.

Halfway through, he brought his daughter to the front of the stage where she sang a beautiful, but yet somewhat dragged-out, solo. She definitely has a great voice, but it really slowed down the pace of things for me. After that, Stevie seemed to surprise her by singing a snippet of "Isn't She Lovely." Now, I'm sure she knew this was coming, but it was a little weird to watch because she seemed really embarrassed and desperate for her dad to let go of her arm. Nonetheless, the audience still loved it.

After sharing his latest new song, "Keep Fooling Yourself, Baby Girl", the show really picked up as he performed beloved classics such as "Ribbon in the Sky", "Overjoyed", "My Cherie Amour" (!) and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." Of course, at this point I decided I was tired of being so far from all the energy and made my way as close to the lower levels as possible. My friend and I walked down as "Sir Duke" played in the background and Stevie transformed the giant Amphitheater into the most poppin' nightclub I've ever seen. As we walked through the aisles in the seated area, Stevie hit us with "Do I Do" and it was over. Even the security guards were dancin' and snappin' their fingers as they stopped ticketless fans from entering the seating area.

The concert closed with heavy hitters "I Just Called to Say I Love You", "Superstition", and "Uptight." By this time, it got a little wild where we were. Stevie had certainly touched some of the folks around us, with some people even getting hyphy (I wish I had a video of this to share with all of you =T).

I can't reiterate it enough: if he's in your city (shoot, even if he's not) go see Stevie live! On that note, I'd like to leave you with one of the highlights of my night: