Festival Reviews

Festival Review: Hard Rock Calling 2010 (Saturday)

By | Published on Friday 2 July 2010

Stevie Wonder

Another sunny day in London’s Hyde Park and it’s day two of the Hard Rock Calling festival, with today’s headliner being the legend that is Stevie Wonder. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is rather different to the previous day – less rock, and more of a party vibe.

Warming up the stage for Mr Wonder were the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae and Jamiroquai. CBR played a touching set which didn’t ultimately grab the full attention it deserved from the crowd, but was suitably chilled out for a sunny Hyde Park afternoon. Funksters Jamiroquai picked up the pace, complete with hat and armed with their abundance of 90s hits, they didn’t fail to get the crowd on their feet ready for Stevie.

Entering the stage with an unexpected high energy, the soul superstar came on playing a lead solo on a keytar, dropping to the floor and laying on his back; it was amazing, and set the tone for rest of his set. Kicking off with ‘My Eyes Don’t Cry’, Stevie instantly interacted with the crowd, teasing them with a “sing after me” line that they attempted but were never going to get.

Charming his audience with his playful manner, Stevie went on to play an uplifting set filled with the classics like ‘Master Blaster’, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours’, ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ and ‘Superstition’, along with covers aplenty, including versions of the Beatles’ ‘We Can Work It Out’, Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State Of Mind’ and The Temptations’ ‘My Girl’. Stevie also paid tribute to Michael Jackson, it being the first anniversary of the singer’s death, playing his version of Jacko’s song ‘Human Nature’ on harmonica with his backing singers taking care of vocals. At one point in the set he had the whole crowd singing “We love you Michael Jackson”, even though I, for one, don’t really.

Finishing off with ‘Happy Birthday’, and despite no encore, Hard Rock Calling 2010’s second headline performer certainly didn’t leave his audience unsatisfied; with the previous day being a lot more ‘grr’, Saturday felt more like a massive party, with Stevie willing us along to simply celebrate life. A little corny, perhaps, but uplifting all the same and definitely a show I wont forget. GS