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Saturday, 14 June 2008

A Wonder to behold

Stevie Wonder is my undoubted musical hero. Had it not been for a reading site that I am a member of, I may never have known that he had announced a European tour, including dates in London, for this September.

I was really excited to hear about this, since I am one of his biggest fans. To me this man is an absolute genius, and his songs are poetry in motion. I have most of his albums from the early 70's onwards, and quite a few of his earlier tracks too. It is impossible to say what my favourites are as these change according to my mood, but I would count among them songs such as Creepin', Too Shy to Say and Love's in Need of Love Today, as well as sixties favourites My Cherie Amour, I'm Wondering and Uptight (Everything's Alright). I don't think there is one single song of his that I don't like, as they are all special, like the man himself.

I was so excited though when I heard about these dates that I immediately searched on Google for the dates and ticket information. I then discovered that they would not be on sale until yesterday morning, Friday 13th June.

My partner and I got up early on that day and dashed to the supermarket so I could get straight on the net after 9am and try and get some seats. I kept trying and trying for around half an hour but no matter which site I went to it was the same result; I would fill in the request form for the date and number of seats that I wanted (there was just one date in London anyway), and it would come back to say that it was unable to process my request, and to keep trying. The equivalent I suppose of dialling a telephone number and getting the engaged tone.

I went away then for around half an hour to do some other stuff, and then tried again, only to find that the sale had been suspended. How upset I was to think that I would miss my hero in action! I refreshed the page though, and to my delight found that another date had suddenly been announced for the following night, which was even better than the first, since it was a Friday, meaning that I would not have to get up for work the following day and have to rush home to make sure I got enough sleep. I could not believe my luck when the screen came back to say that 2 tickets had been booked for that night.

To say that I am looking forward to this is an understatement. I have been a fan of Stevie's music for as long as I can remember. This will be the fourth time I have seen him live, the last time being a charity concert for the blind in 1996, at the Royal Albert Hall. The other 2 times were at Wembley Arena in I believe, 1994 and 1995 respectively.

The show in 1995 was the best of all of them, since we were lucky enough (don't ask me how) to get 2nd row seats. When his backing singer led Stevie on stage the atmosphere was electric and the crowd erupted in an absolute frenzy. The arena just radiated this energy of love; the only other person I have ever been in the presence of who has anywhere near this effect on people is the Dalai Llama, and this did come close to what I experienced that night.

It is often the case that what disabled people lack in one of their missing senses they make up for in other ways, and this definitely seems to be the case with Stevie, as he works his magic on
everyone who is touched by his songs. They make you laugh and cry, and touch raw emotions deep inside, touching a sense of longing deep inside that is difficult to explain to anyone who has not been touched by the magic his man possesses. Yes, it will be a special night indeed - roll on September 12th, 2008.

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