Over the years I would have to say the Jazz Festival has become my favorite Montreal thing. It’s free, no cars, tons of great music, and zillions of people looking for a break from everyday reality.
Stevie Wonder addressed the crowd before he started and talked some about his friend, Michael Jackson. Basically he said we should just forget all the bullshit and focus on the great music this man gave the world. He wanted the concert to be a celebration.
He then proceeded to perform one of the most inspiring concerts ever heard in this city. The sound was great, the screens were clear, and the rain let up for the most part. And he probably played your favorite song.
As the show moved towards the end he talked about his friend a bit more, emphasizing the celebration, and as his music began to fade a medley of Michael Jackson tunes began to play for about 10 – 15 minutes as Stevie Wonder and band stayed on stage listening with everyone else.
You are not going to see such selflessness from a superstar very often, literally sending everyone away with someone’s else’s songs for momentum into the night.
This kicks off the 30th edition of The Jazz Festival and was a night for the books in Montreal concert history.
On a personal note the last time I saw Stevie Wonder live was in 1972 at the Montreal Forum when he was the opening act for The Rolling Stones. Tickets were $8.00. Oh how times have changed!