Stevie Wonder and H.E.R. Highlights at Global Citizen: Some concerts have a message that is bigger than the music. Global Citizen has a bunch. “Defeat poverty, demand equity, defend the planet” are the headlines — all admirable causes packaged together into one enormous “do the right thing” vibe. The videos played between performances spell it all out — use less plastic, plant trees and quit cutting them down, fuck racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and the other shitty isms and bias. Essentially, we only have one planet so look after it, look after each other, and don’t be an asshole. There’s way more to it, so visit the Global Citizen website to get all of the info.
There was music too — the L.A. installment of an event that was taking place all over the world. And while footage of the Fugees in NYC looked awesome, we got the mighty Stevie Wonder. Dammit, he was mighty too. He was joined by a beaming H.E.R. for “Superstition,” before playing “Overjoyed” and a new song called “The Living Killing Life.” He reappeared at the end to perform “This I Know” with Shiela E. Wonder’s set was in the middle of the night but his performance was heroic.
H.E.R. ran him close for “star of the night” though. Radiating cool, the multi instrumentalist with the warmest of voices performed a six song set (more than anyone else), that included Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” and Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” plus “Bloody Waters,” “Fight For You,” “Hold On,” and “We Made it.” She’s frankly magnificent, shades of Prince but all H.E.R., and her star is surely only going to keep getting brighter.
Perhaps proving that this is a golden period for R&B, L.A.’s own Chloe X Halle were magnificent too. If Chloe’s own “Have Mercy” is lively and dance-friendly, “Cool People” is a gorgeous, touching and timely reminder that all hope isn’t lost.
There were other highlights; Demi Lovato delivered a powerful “Anyone” before Adam Lambert joined them for a cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Lambert stuck around for a funky “Superpower.” The likes of 5 Seconds of Summer and OneRepublic performed a few catchy tunes, Migos covered every inch of the stage as they bounced through a superb hip-hop set, and Ozuna was joined by some giant animals (mice? bears?) as he blasted through a vibrant set that included a cover of Black Eyes Peas’ “MAMACITA.”
There was time for an unannounced performance of “Mineral King” from Colorado singer/songwriter Shulman Smith alongside dancer Daisy Jacobson, and the Lumineers put in a rollicking folk-rock set that included “Ophelia.”
The bands came and went in a blink, while the messages were always the priority. That’s how it was all over the world, and that’s how it should be.
Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.