Stevie Wonder, a legendary artist who has won 25 Grammys, is a Rock N Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee, has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, has had more than 30 top 10 hits in the U.S., a U.N. Messenger of Peace, Kennedy Center honoree and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient brought his annual House Full of Toys show to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Dec. 10. In recent years, Wonder has performed the groundbreaking Songs In The Key of Life at both the Microsoft Theatre and the Forum in the last few years, but for this show Wonder performed his iconic albums Talking Books and Innervisions, along with some very special guests. Not only did the audience get to hear a number of Wonder’s biggest hits, they were also treated to a selection of song’s from the special guests own catalog.
Traditionally, the show is opened with a choir and for this year it was the KJLH choir to set the mood for an amazing and unforgettable night. The first guest of the night was a man who for over 6 decades has become a staple of American music and delivers quite a performance every single time, even at the age of 91. This very special guest was none other than Tony Bennett himself who, along with his own quartet, performed one of his biggest hits which happens to be a cover of Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” which Wonder joined in on harmonica for. Following was “I Left My Heart In San Francisco."
Not only were their major artists, there were also upcoming talents that Wonder invited to perform Christmas classics such as pianist/vocalist Glenn Lumanta on “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” with vocalist Jade Novah and saxophonist Mike Phillips. Before each artist, Wonder announced walked out and announced them. The first part of the show continued with Andra Day and Common performing “Stand Up For Something,” Dave Matthews performing “Crush,” Savion Glover tap dancing to Chick Corea’s “Giant Steps,” and Pharrell and Stevie wonder together for “Happy.” For this part of the show, Rickey Minor was bassist and musical director along with an all-star band including Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar.The next two parts of the show were Talking Book, and Innervisions back to back with Wonder and his band. Talking Book started with “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” with special guests Jim Gilstrap and Lani Groves who sang on the original recording. For the next song “Maybe Your Baby,” Ray Parker Jr. who played guitar on the song originally came out to join Wonder. The next three songs had no special guests and then for “Superstition,” Dave Matthews came out once again but this time performing with Wonder. Wonder played the album all the way through and ended with “I Believe (When Fall In Love It’ll Be Forever).”
Innervisions which was released the following year after Talking Book was the final part of this incredible show. After the first song of the album “Too High,” Wonder brought out Common to perform “Visions,” Wonder continued with “Living for the City,” and for “Golden Lady,” Pharrell returned to the stage to perform with Wonder for the 2nd time this evening. Then Wonder performed one of his biggest hits “Higher Ground,” which had the whole crowd dancing. For “All in Love Is Fair,” Andra Day joined in. The show ended with the final song of Innervisions, “He's Misstra Know-It-All.”