Stevie Wonder performed three surprise shows yesterday (August 17) in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. According to the Associated Press, the free gigs were to promote Wonder’s forthcoming ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ performance tour.
Kicking off the day in DC, the ‘As’ singer played a handful of songs at the DC Armory Mall, with the first 1,000 people to show up all receiving free doughnuts. In Philadelphia, Wonder played Dilworth Park, taking the opportunity to speak out against gun violence, while he finished the day with a performance in New York’s Central Park Monday.
As reported by Billboard, the NYC show saw Wonder quote Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’ by shouting the hook, “We gon’ be alright!”. He also performed a short parody version of The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. “You can’t see me when I got my clothes off, and I love it,” Wonder sang. Click below to watch fan-recorded footage.
Wonder also took the opportunity to condemn police brutality at a Q&A in New York, and he elaborated on the subject while speaking to Billboard backstage after the show.
“I think the judicial system as a whole is jacked up in this country. I think it needs an overhaul, a fix,” he said. “When you put people that have done very small crimes in the same [prison] as a person who has done a hard, life crime, it’s ridiculous and unacceptable. So then people who’ve done a little thing – maybe they’ve dealt a little marijuana – they’re in a situation where they become hardened criminals being around others like that. People don’t care – they just want to be protected, but they’re making it worse.”