A Wonderful Moment in Philadelphia Music

The Philadelphia music community has been making a great comeback from what could be considered a few years of economic frustration. However it’s not only the music community that gets to enjoy this resurgence. It’s the city as a whole.

Around 3:00pm on August 17th, Stevie Wonder surprised a Philadelphia crowd in the HOT HOT HEAT with a pop-up concert in Dilworth Park. The event was labeled #AWonderMoment on social media, as Wonder would announce the final leg of his ‘Songs In The Key of Life’ tour.

The concert was kept a secret until Monday morning, leaving fans with only a few hours’ notice. Wonder had arrived just earlier in the day from Washington DC to perform what was part of a 3 city promotion. He’ll play the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 7.

Philly.com capture a quote from his on stage dialogue, capturing the essence of the albums message. “It’s all about love… We truly are in need of getting things right. There are so many things that we read about, that people talk about, that need to be fixed, not just in this country, but on this planet. Negativity breeds negativity. We can’t go out like that.”

Fans that were present got to hear songs from the album including “I Wish”, “Sir Duke, “Contusion,” and “Always,” with a special appearance from Philly’s own, Jazmine Sullivan. Wonder foreshadowed the Wells Fargo Center performance by suggesting Sullivan would be with them on stage and before she was able to escape, Wonder pulled her back over to sing “Superstition,” to end the show.

Amidst the performances and banter about the album, Wonder also celebrated Philadelphia music history, by giving a shout out to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, remembering American Bandstand, and singing a snippet of McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

After his performance, he was off to New York City for the final pop up show of the day at the Central Park SummerStage.

Jon Ardito