The stars almost perfectly aligned last Friday night in Sydney. Balmy evening, end of the working week and George Michael performing live for the first time in 22 years! I’ll get back to the “almost” a little later, but let’s get back to George Michael who at 46 years of age definitely still has it.
There are few artists in the world that possess such a voice. Effortless, smooth and always in tune, Sydney was treated to George at his very best. He also seemed to be enjoying himself enormously. Who wouldn’t though with 40,000 screaming fans who, for the most part, were up on their feet singing and dancing and clapping in unison. The girl next to me was beside herself every time George glanced our way. I wish I had a cold beer every time she yelled out “I love you George!”
I read a review from a punter in Perth who complained that the side screens did not work, that George had an intermission and that he did not sing his most popular songs. I’m not sure what he was drinking over there in the 40 degree heat but the concert I saw was jam-packed with songs ranging from the Wham days (not many though, surprisingly), right through to his Patience album of a few years back. Indeed the song that got the most rousing applause and reaction was Amazing from the Patience album, written for his long term American partner Kenny. George coming onto stage in a police uniform and his trademark aviator-style wrap-arounds, singing Outside was another superb moment, not to mention the dance clubbing hit Flawless, Faith and the ultimate encore Freedom.
We’ve seen some pretty good gigs recently from Brian Wilson, Elton John, Brooks and Dunn and Duran Duran. Out of all of them, George may be the youngest but he’s also in the best shape. A friend of mine asked me yesterday whether he can still pull off some good dance moves. The girl next to me certainly thought so.
The one negative experience out of all of this was the hour commute between the city and the stadium (only about 3 km away) and the two hour traffic jam getting out of the Fox Studios carpark. Still, a small price to pay for seeing one of the truly great pop icons of our time.
Can Spandau Ballet and Tears for Fears top this? We’ll have to see in a couple of months, but they’ll have to work hard to top GM.
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