Yes, the Motown legend hasn’t had a major hit single since the mid-’80s, and, yes, at 61, he’s a bit older than the Cosmopolitan’s usual clientele. But Wonder’s talent and genius persevere, and he maintains a stockpile of songs that will endure long after people have forgotten about today’s disposable pop icons. The blind superstar ambled onstage without escort for opener “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” while playing a keytar, with which he wowed the audience as he lay down on the stage during an intricate solo that ushered in “My Eyes Don’t Cry.” From there, Wonder moved to keyboards and piano for the rest of the evening, and outside of a lengthy call-and-response exchange with the audience early on, the 2½-hour set was constant high energy. He abstained from ballads, thankfully omitting “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” and instead cranked out nearly two-dozen up-tempo favorites from his hit-making prime. He paused only to countdown to midnight and play “Auld Lang Syne” on the harmonica. Once Wonder reached the new year, hits such as “Higher Ground,” “Living for the City,” “Sir Duke” and “I Wish” kept popping like champagne corks. He even worked in covers of The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” and Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Six of Wonder’s children came onstage and gathered around their father during “Isn’t She Lovely,” and R&B stars Tyrese Gibson and Joe giggled in disbelief as they accompanied their idol during “Superstition.” Although the calendar flipped to 2012, Wonder delivered a performance that turned back the clock.
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.