Stevie Wonder headlines pre-Super Bowl concert
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Applause and approval greeted Stevie Wonder as thousands stood for hours to hear his pre-Super Bowl concert that also featured guitarist Gary Clark Jr.
Escorted on stage late Saturday by his daughter and backup singer Aisha Morris, Wonder performed several of his hits, including his opening song, "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)."
That was followed by "Master Blaster," Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," and Wonder's own "Higher Ground."
The 62-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member headlined the event outdoor event held near the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel on the eve of Sunday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.
Thousands packed a tent set up on a parking lot across the street from the hotel to hear Wonder, Clark, R&B artist Janelle Monae and French electronic music DJ Martin Solveig.
"I expected greatness from Stevie and that's exactly what I got," said Brendan Cawley, of New York, N.Y., after Wonder's performance.
"I loved how he ad-libbed a lot of his songs and got the audience involved," said Cawley's friend, Jason Alex, of Los Angeles. "It sounds like he's still got it."
Wonder's early-'70s hit "Superstition" will be featured in two of this year's Bud Light Super Bowl commercials. The beer company sponsored Saturday's concert, one of many held to entertain the thousands of fans in the city for the game.
Brandon James, of Grambling, La., said this was his first time seeing Wonder perform live.
"I always heard my parents talk about how great he was and he is. Most performers come on and only do two or three songs. Stevie gave us a show!" he said.
The last time Wonder entertained such a large gathering in New Orleans was at the city's annual Jazz and Heritage Festival five years ago.
Saturday night was also a return performance for Clark, who played last year's Essence Festival and jazz festival.
"There are so many talented musicians in New Orleans that I always feel like I have to step up my game, when I come here," he said after his set.
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