There is only one thing better than seeing Stevie Wonder in concert. It is seeing Stevie Wonder in concert for free. Stevie Wonder performed in a pop-up concert in Dilworth Park in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon at 3 p.m.
I was tipped off in the morning about what was supposed to be a surprise concert. I have been a fan of Stevie Wonder since I was a child, but have never had the privilege of seeing him in concert. It was around 93 degrees yesterday in Philadelphia, but the heat didn't prevent any fans from attending. Sweat-soaked bodies stood, moved together and sang along to the music. The energy was positive and flowing with love among the crowd, which filled about half of the park.
The concert started shortly after 3 p.m. and Stevie spoke to the ecstatic crowd explaining why he decided to do the pop-up concerts. He expressed a desire to connect with the people, so he chose to do a show in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and the final in New York later that evening. Before he performed, "Love's In Need of a Love Today" told the crowd he felt the world needs more love and less negativity. He briefly talked about gun laws and people being held accountable. He shared that he didn't believe in restricting guns through gun laws, but that each bullet be able to be traced back to its owner. He talked about accountability with law and enforcement being equally accountable for their actions towards one another. Lastly, he said we need to make the world more accessible for people with disabilities. He described ways we can make it a better world for everyone.
He also announced that his "Songs In the Key of Life" tour would complete its 20 final dates in the United States. The tour would stop in Philadelphia in October and conclude in New York in November. Following his performance, there was a brief period of questions from the Philadelphia media. One reporter asked Wonder if this was his last tour and he responded that he's never done performing to which the crowd responded with cheers and applause.
He continued with the selections, "Sir Duke" and "I Wish" before announcing it was the end of the show. The crowd begged Stevie to play a few more songs. Finally, he called out to Philly's own, Jazmine Sullivan, who was enjoying the show with the crowd. She joined Stevie Wonder on stage as the band launched into an impromptu performance of "As". The pop-up concert concluded with Wonder singing, "Superstition". Stevie Wonder exited the stage with Jazmine Sullivan and the show ended. Crowd dispersed slowly as many stood stunned and excitedly discussing the legendary moment in Philadelphia. Even if it wasn't a complete surprise, it was still surprising to many fans, such as myself and will not be soon forgotten.