I saw Stevie Wonder for the first time the other night at the Hollywood Bowl.  He’s been on the list that resides in my mind of “Artists I Must See Live” for as long as I’ve had the list. It was so exciting.  There he was in the flesh, dressed in a white suit at his keyboards delivering the goods. His voice was great, his band was great, he’s the man.

The Bowl’s sound system is not that loud, and right as the concert started two 90210 type young couples came in and sat down behind us. I don’t know if they were on coke or just completely clueless, but they talked loudly the entire concert. My friends and I moved down a few seats to get as far away from them as possible. I’ve gotten into it with people over these chatty shenanigans at the Bowl before and I didn’t want it to ruin my evening so I just tried to ignore them. But a lot of people were talking. At one point Stevie even said, “Why are people talking?”

Later in the show during what was supposed to be a quiet moment, Stevie was speaking about his mother who passed away a couple of years ago, when all of a sudden from a section further behind us a bunch of people started singing “Happy Birthday” to someone in their party with a big cake with candles on it. It was unbelievable. What is wrong with people? They’ve got one of the greatest voices ever in front of them and they feel compelled to sing “Happy Birthday”?  It’s a sad state of affairs.

On a happier note, try and listen to this performance of “Superstition” from Sesame Street (1972) on some decent speakers or with headphones so that you can hear the bass guitar and overall low-end. Stevie, a mere 22 years old with 10 years of hits already under his belt.

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks

Donita Sparks is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her first solo record, Transmiticate, has been released nationwide and a US tour is booked for Spring and Summer 2008. Donita is also the co-founder and front person of the rock band L7 who have released six studio albums.

Her original scores can be heard in the upcoming feature film The Life of Reilly starring Charles Nelson Reilly and in online projects for Activision and Microsoft. In 1991 Sparks and L7 formed Rock For Choice with the Feminist Majority Foundation staging numerous concerts benefiting pro-choice organizations.
Donita has been a contributing writer at Firedoglake since July 2006 with her music column The Spin I’m In.