Basically, Stevie Wonder's performance shredded me, with a combo of "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"/"They Won't Go When I Go," one of his most powerful songs.
Watching the service made me think about nostalgia, and in spite of myself and my own feelings about the circus known as Michael Jackson, mainly reminded me of something I was surprised to have forgotten: the power of music to unite, to heal and to inspire. The service presented in some ways (and in some performances) portraits from a different time not only culturally, but also in the music industry, when music had that power to unite, to surprise and delight us on a grand scale.
I hadn't listened to Jackson that much, really, since the early 90s. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of his music, but like everyone the world over, his music was nonetheless the soundtrack to my life. In my case, it was Thriller, then Bad and Dangerous, but his work stretched all the way back to "ABC," and though he had been much maligned over the last few decades, his music and its influence have both been undeniable and inescapable.