The music of a Motown maestro is coming to Melbourne and we’re signed, sealed, delivered

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The music of a Motown maestro is coming to Melbourne and we’re signed, sealed, delivered

The Stevie Wonder Story
The Stevie Wonder Story
Words by Joanne Brookfield

Here’s an unsolicited self care tip: the fastest way to get your Main Character Energy on is with the right soundtrack.

On those days when you’re not even feeling like a Featured Extra in your own straight-to-video flop, blast some Stevie Wonder in your ear buds and suddenly you’re the star of your own retro indie hit and a darling of Sundance.

Those first funky twangs of the clarinet in Superstition will have you feeling like buildings are exploding behind you as you strut off in nonchalant triumph, or perhaps it’s Higher Ground that will have you feeling like the buddy road trip is cruising through spectacular scenery and the best part of the adventure is yet to come. Maybe you see yourself in a romantic movie and I Just Called To Say I Love You does the trick.

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Stevie Wonder’s songs just have that effect, stirring the soul and moving feet to dance, and have done for decades. From child prodigy to living legend, Wonder’s career began when he was only 11 years old and he had his first number-one hit at 13.

A prolific singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, his ability to fuse rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk and jazz has created endless hits, and influenced generations of musicians who have followed. A pioneer of the ‘concept album’, Wonder has won more Grammy Awards than any other solo artist and has been so popular with audiences he ranks as one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

It’s no wonder (yes, that’s deliberate) his songs have been covered numerous times and, as perhaps a greater compliment, tribute productions have emerged as well, such as The Stevie Wonder Story, which is a live stage show where a full band bring the many hits of his to a contemporary audience of fans.

Touring Australia throughout September, The Stevie Wonder Story is performing in all mainland capital cities except Darwin, as well doing nights in Mandurah, Bendigo, Woollongong and Gold Coast. This Motown magic will be in Melbourne for two shows at the Palms at Crown on Friday 15 September and Saturday 16 September.

With such a vast songbook, the team behind The Stevie Wonder Story have been spoilt for choice, however have chosen some of his biggest hits and best-loved classics to honour in the show, including Superstition, Sir Duke, Higher Ground, Master Blaster, Signed Sealed Delivered, I Just Called To Say I Love You, and Living In The City.

Performing these songs will be an eight-piece lineup of international musicians and singers, whose own CVs boast having toured and recorded with some of the biggest musical artists in the world, including Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations and yes, even Stevie Wonder himself.

“We’ve all come together for this show because of our deep shared love of Stevie’s music and the huge influence he has had on us all,” says Aleysha Lei, one of the backing vocalists for The Stevie Wonder Story, who has also performed with Grace Jones and more recently, with Bryan Ferry at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Promising a superbly rich feast, both musically and visually, the band will include Philly-style horns, full percussion rhythm section and outstanding backing vocalists, to not only celebrate Wonder’s enduring popularity but also get the audience up and dancing in the aisles. Channel some of that Wonder-inspired main character energy and lose yourself in a night of joyous, sexy funk.

The Stevie Wonder Story is coming to the Palms at Crown on Friday 15 September and Saturday 16 September. Grab tickets here.

This article was made in partnership with The Prestige Presents.