……watching George Michael live at Wembley!
And it was Amazing, George was Fantastic, the show was Flawless and he took us all to the Edge of Heaven (ok I’ll stop with the George Michael song titles now).
I’ve seen George Michael perform live 4 times before tonight, on Christmas Eve 1984 at Wembley Arena on “The Big Tour” with Wham, on 28th June1986 I was at Wembley Stadium for “The Final”, in 1988 I was at the Earl’s Court date for “The Faith Tour” and the last time I saw him was 16 years ago on 16th January 2001 at the NEC in Birmingham on his Cover to Cover tour.
This was the night that the first Gulf War started with Operation Desert Storm and I heard that news on a bus travelling back home after the concert. Cover to Cover was the last tour George actually did, he has played live concerts since then but hasn’t toured so when I heard that George was going to be the first act to play a concert at the new Wembley Stadium I had to go.
So, I find myself standing in Wembley Stadium on a hot night in June listening to George Michael sing “The Edge of Heaven” and conducting the audience to sing the chorus in three parts “Yeah, yeah yeah – Lah, lah, lah, lah, lah – Yeah, yeah, yeah, ye-ea-ea-ah” and suddenly I flash back 21 years to another hot June night in 1986. OK, so Wembley’s changed a bit and had an amzing face lift…the Twin Towers are out and The Arch is in….but then I’ve changed a bit too, and so has George (although as far as I know neither of us has had a facelift.
The 28th June 1986 was the day before Argentina beat West Germany (yes, Germany was still 2 countries then) to win the World Cup in Mexico and the latest craze to come out of that World Cup, the Mexican Wave was in full swing at Wembley for The Final. I was 17 and had just finished the first year of my A level studies, my main worry in life was whether I’d got the grades I needed for University. George was 23, yet to tell the world he was gay and his main worry was probably whether his solo career was going to take off…..neither of us should have worried George.
Now, on June 10th 2007, it’s the day that Lewis Hamilton – who was only 3 in 1988 – won his first Grand Prix, I’m 38 and I got to University, am now married and my biggest worry at the moment is the prospect of being approved or not to adopt, George is 43 and has just been sentenced for a driving offence – yes times have changed.
George himself acknowledged the change in his audience this evening, when he did the standard “Good Evening Wembley are you all pleased to be here?” he then added “You’re probably all just glad you’re not in Ikea, actually I have the same customer profile. 30-somethings who want something that looks classy but is actually really cheap”
Hey – we got class that’s for sure…the voice is one thing that has changed but it has certainly not the worse for it. He’s older, as am I, and his voice still makes me go to jelly – ok so he doesn’t go for those high notes anymore but he’s always known his own range and how to use it. We got all the best songs – including (as I’m not sure I remembered them all) Too Funky, Shoot the Dog (complete with inflatable George Bush and British Bulldog)
Jesus to a Child, Everything She Wants, Faith, Amazing, Flawless, Praying for Time, Father Figure, Fast Love, Outside (which he did dressed as a policeman) Spinning the Wheel, Star People and I’m Your Man…and for an encore we got Careless Whisper and Freedom 90.
The stage show was wonderful, a huge LED screen which flowed from the back across the stage and off the front and which showed wonderful graphics and clips from the videos. The set list alternated the funky dance tracks with the ballads giving us, and George, a chance to sit down and catch our breath before jumping up to dance and scream again – and dance and scream I did.
Thank you George for making me feel 17 again.
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