To get the few bad parts out of the way: We got lawn seats and ended up near the top of the grass, and could barely see the stage. Fortunately there were several video screens, but even those were often blocked by people standing in front of us. Also, there were a number of sound problems, especially when Stevie was using a wireless mic, and the camera operators often didn't focus on the person actually soloing. Finally, we weren't allowed to bring cameras, so I missed getting a beautiful shot of the full moon rising over the hills.
All that aside, the experience was wonderful. Stevie's voice, keyboard, harmonica, and even drum playing were all in top form. He and his 11-piece band performed nearly all of my favorites, including Overjoyed, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, and I Wish - the last of which my Blue Bear band is performing next month, as I mentioned previously. His daughter Aisha was there singing backup, and sat next to him at the piano as he sang Isn't She Lovely, the song written about her birth. Stevie performed a number of songs from Innervisions which I wasn't familiar with; Mike told me about the album, and I'll definitely have to get a copy. In fact the only song in the set I really didn't like was I Just Called to Say I Love You; mercifully, he only did one verse.
There was also plenty of audience participation. Stevie attempted to teach a couple of phrases for the men and women to sing in turn, with mixed and humorous results. He also gave a tip to singers, taking a swig from a concoction of "2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons honey" to coat his throat. What we do for art...
Stevie opened the show standing with his daughter and talking about how he wanted to cancel all performances after his mother died last year, but realized that she would want him to go on and perform, share the love and make people happy. I'm sure everyone at the concert last night would agree.