Signature Moment | POP MUSIC

An Awesome Sense of Wonder, and the Joy That Comes With It

(Marvin Joseph/twp - The Washington Post)   |   Buy Photo
Sunday, December 30, 2007

Stevie Wonder, Sept. 16, Pier Six Pavilion.

Upbeat pop can be incredibly noxious stuff. And while I consider myself far from your average cold-cockled music critic, most feel-good tunes make me want to slit my wrists with the broken shards of a R.E.M. "Shiny Happy People" cassingle.

And then there's Stevie Wonder.

Has anyone in the history of recorded music even come close to matching this singer's superhuman ability to put smiles on faces?

Okay, maybe the Beatles, but there were four of those dudes.

Stevie is one man, and he appeared larger than life onstage in September, diving into an oceans-deep catalogue of unblemished melodies.

My smiling cheeks were just getting sore by the time he was hoisted atop his grand piano for "Do I Do," one of the my favorite jams in the Wonder canon. But once he got there, Stevie barely sang -- he just laughed and danced, as if basking in the blissful radiance of sound.

Four thousand fans were doing the same exact thing.

-- Chris Richards

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