Stevie Wonder‘s set started with him doing For Once in My Life. The band was nice and tight (as you’d expect) and we get a first introduction to the horns (trumpet, sax) and the singers. Stevie then introduced Smokey Robinson who did Tears of a Clown. A nice, slower version of the tune. The man has had some serious plastic surgery – seeing him in HD was a little creepy…I’m just sayin’. But he’s still got good pipes.
John Legend was introduced and proceeded to do a gorgeous version of Mercy Mercy Me. I originally saw this set as part of the 4-hour recording. This tune was not included. Luckily when they rebroadcast this in two session they include the tune. Legend that sat in with band on piano. Stevie moved on to Michael Jackson’s You Turn Me On. He actual broke down and cried during this tune but recovered nicely – it was a genuinely touching moment.
Next up was B.B. King (inducted in 1987) doing his signature The Thrill is Gone. Stevie sang a verse in his inimitable style… a nice touch. The classic blues tune was an enjoyable addition. Then it was time move on to some more Stevie classics… like Higher Ground . And freakin’ Sting joins the band playing bass! Interesting having two basses. Sting then does Roxanne with the band. He and Stevie share the vocals. The instrumentals on this tune were just great and looking at all the faces of the band members, you could see that they were seriously enjoying themselves. The band then transitioned back to Higher Ground. Sting’s voice added a nice new color to the tune.
Almost time to go… Sting leaves the stage and band fires up yet another classic – Superstition and Stevie introduces… Jeff Beck … no really. I’ve always thought of this as an instrumental tune and the band was absolutely rippin’ (and smilin’). Some very tasty guitar work from Mr. Beck. A tremendous build to the end with the signature horn lick and the backup singers.
And then it was time for the Metallica set. Yeah whatever…