The Wonder Dream Concert held on October 4, 1975 at Kingston’s National Stadium was one of three events on the Holiday Jamaica package scheduled from September 29, 1975 through October 5, 1975. The concert was a benefit for the Jamaican Institute for the Blind and featured Third World as the opening act. Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes were scheduled to play but did not show.
Third World, just back from a tour of the UK, opened their set with “Crying On The Rail Road Track” and followed with popular favorites “Sun Won’t Shine,” “Satta Massagana,” and “Slavery Days.”
The concert is often referred to as the Wailers Reunion Show, as it was the first time the original Wailers trio performed together since 1974. It is the last time that all three founding members appeared live on-stage together.
The Wailers and the I-Three kick off their set with “Rastaman Chant”
This is a mix we put together right after witnessing the magic of ‘Stevie Wonder’ live @ Acer Arena, Sydney, October 22 2008, its a mix with some of the Funk, Foul & Disco gems of he has put out over the year. It should be perfect for an Australia Day BBQ in the sun,
“ARE you with me? Are we together?” cried Stevie Wonder at the top of a reggae-tinged Master Blaster, asking perhaps the most superfluous question in the history of questions. If love was in need of love in 1976 – as the man born Stevland Hardaway Judkins put it on his classic album Songs In The Key Of Life – there was certainly no shortage of it last night.
Wonder gave love, dedicating the whole show to the Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs, who died this week, before a jubilant rendition of the soul band’s classic I Can’t Help Myself. (It ended with Wonder crying visible tears.)
And boy, did he receive love. Before his daughter, Aisha Morris, had even led him all the way to his piano and banks of keyboards, the sold-out arena screamed with adulation.
Wonder at first just ambled towards the centre of the stage, beat-boxing to himself. Then he pulled out a harmonica, jammed along with his band to a Miles Davis jazz classic and pretty much earned every last scream.
His band was deliciously tight – a crack 14-piece unit including multiple horns, guitars and percussionists – and their leader almost shone with the star power and charisma you expected. You can still see that he really feels the music, loves hearing it and can’t get enough of playing it.
Sure, but it’s hard to think he could put a foot wrong. Really, he could have just stood at the stage for two hours humming to himself and this would have been a triumph. As it was, he played some mighty fine soul and funk as well as the occasional flourish of jazz and reggae groove.
By the end of the show we’d seen it all. A suspiciously good singer, “plucked out of the audience”, duetting with his idol; a barrage of hits, good and not so good (but still irresistible), often jazzed up. And the presentation of a lifetime achievement award for sales in excess of 1 million in Australia before a roof-raising Superstition.