So after an hour drive in the wet followed by the find a car park fun I found myself at the back of the NIA with a half an hour wait in a chair that had some nice leg room to the left.
Stevie started with a harmonica based number called All Blues that built to a crescendo when the full band kicked in.
It took until the 3rd song before I recognized something. It was Master Blaster and it was fab. For the next hour or so apart from Higher Ground there wasn’t much of the classics I know on display. One song was even extended for solo spots for most of the band which included 2 percussionists, 2 keyboardists, 2 guitarists, 2 horns, 4 backing vocalist, drummer and bassist.
My attention wavered and I nearly dropped off at one point, but then starting with a nice rendition of Overjoyed he led into plenty of tunes that helped redeem himself (even if he did keep mentioning President Obama).
Over the years Stevie has created songs that span many different genres from blues to soul to funk to ballads to 80s pop. All of these were represented last night. Best of the bunch in the final hour+ included Living For The City, My Cherie Amour, Sir Duke (such a great grove on this), Isn’t She Lovely, Part Time Lover, Lately (great ballad), A Place In The Sun, Yester-Me Yester-You Yesterday, Signed Sealed Delivered (a quick trio of the older tunes), I Wish (?), You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Happy Birthday (just the chorus), I Just Called To Say I Love You, Superstition, and As as I raced towards the exit to get a quick getaway.
So a dodgy start but he was there for well over 2 hours and here were still plenty of great tunes on offer. One to tick on the legend list.