I've been a bit out of writing reviews lately, but I thought I'd throw one out for this show.
I had seen George Michael once before, years ago, and remember it fairly fondly as a super high-energy show that was really good at what it was trying to be, but I had ZERO interest in seeing the show last night.
However, an opportunity came to me a couple of hours before the show to get a free ticket (an EXCELLENT seat also) I had nothing else going on and I was ten minutes away from the venue, so what the hell?
I munched an EXCELLENT cookie, enjoyed a couple of icy cold ones and a few sips of good tequila and was in my seat a few minutes before the lights went down. I noticed that the crowd was varied; young, old and everything in between. I also noticed that my initial thought that most of the crowd would be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) was way off. They were well represented, but were not the overwhelming majority.
The majority of the crowd WAS most definitely FEMALE (NEVER anything wrong with that!) yet before the lights went down I felt that the vibe was really plain and flat; nice, mild folks sitting nicely and chatting.
Then the show started and these regular folks became RABID BEASTS! This crowd LOVED GM, and the place became a wild dancing frenzy as soon as the music started.
I was impressed right away with Michael's VERY good singing; his voice was clean and strong and his singing skills were much better than I knew, and of course he had the look and moves that get the people going.
The music was really good; sort of soft funk with a sophisticated style, and it worked mostly because the EXCELLENT band was lead and driven by the outstanding bass player and drummer, with very little "fluff" strings or horns mucking up the sound.
The show LOOKED amazing; one of the best major stage show set-ups I've seen, with the main stage itself being a huge curved wave-like video/LCD screen type of thing with all sorts of cool looks flowing up, down and under Michael... it looked REALLY good.
The large band was set up on four levels on each side of the huge screen, and as I said, while there were many musicians and singers, the overall sound was tight and driven by hard bass and drums.
One very interesting note; there was an intermission, which normally I love but for this show it just stopped the groove, which took time to get back again. The thing that was fascinating to me was that there was an actual clock countdown on the screen showing exactly when the show would start again. When it got to about two minutes the lights went down and the classic HUGE roar that always happens at that point in ANY show went up, but because there was still more than a minute remaining the crowd became very quiet immediately, waiting placidly for the last 10 seconds, when everyone did the final countdown and got TOTALLY jazzed again.
I couldn't help but notice how domesticated we all are; trained by a clock to control our emotions, and I really thought that count-down clock was a bad thing, as it did control how the crowd reacted.
The second set was more of the same; songs I didn't know but that were dancin' groovy and had the entire room BOOGYING all the way to the very top of the upper level, my personal litmus test for how well a show is working. This event was a total DANCE PARTY.
This was a REALLY expensive show, but I think if you're a fan it's money well spent, and I kept thinking that even if you're like me and not a fan, if you got in free or spent a reasonable amount of money just about anyone would enjoy it.
I've seen many shows that would be considered similar (Madonna, Janet Jackson, the Lavida Loca guy, etc.) and I enjoyed this one much more. It didn't try to be more than what it was and it worked on every level. I was entertained by the stage show, enjoyed boogying to the tunes and had a blast watching all the nice folks CUTTING LOOSE on a Thursday night. While I wouldn't spend large money I would definitely see this guy again, given the opportunity.
I guess I'm adding George Michael to my Guilty Pleasures list!
ha ha ha ha...
I had a chance at a ticket too, unlike you I was not 10 minutes from the venue
Glad to hear it was enjoyable...I guess this is his last tour, he announced he's going to retire from the road, thinks he's too old. I dunno, sounds like the masses may disagree...
cool...thanks for the review/story.
Interesting addition to the Philzone "reviews" section... I'm not a George Micheal fan, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you had fun, so be it!
One of the most bizarre memories I had of all the GD shows I went ti was the last time (I think) they played New Orleans ('88?).
Great show! My first time in that wonderful city.
That was the show where The Bangles came out for the encore. Truly weird. And we were Tripping hard!!
The Bangles had opened for George Micheal that same night. When we went down to Beale Street after the show, the steets wre filled with deadheads and George wannabes (porkpie hats and white shirts). It was crazy!
The craziest bars, by far, were the gay ones. At least, it looked that way from the street.
I remember that night in New Orleans!!!
That was a lot of fun with the Deadheads & George Micheal fans mixing it up in the streets. I remember I was tripping so hard when the Bangels came out. I swore up and down they were gonna do the Walk Like An Egyption dance with Jerry and Bobby. Now that would have been a sight to see
Glad you had fun Lance!!
Is this the dude from Wham!?
Great review. Glad you had fun.
>>>Is this the dude from Wham!?<<<
Yeah, I think so.
>>>Interesting addition to the Philzone "reviews" section<<<
That's why I put this review up. When I walked in I was fully expecting to bail within the first hour, but it turned out to be good clean fun and was something competely different than we usually see here.
"Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places....." and all that.
Couldn't even imagine seeing that show, but if for some reason i did, probably would have enjoyed it and quitely sang careless whisper!
Nice review, Lance! George Michael's 'Older' is a guilty pleasure here.
Great review! I'm glad to hear that he had a solid band backing him up. For me it doesn't matter who the headliner is, or if I know or like their stuff, there is always a true and profound pleasure in seeing quality music professionals do good strong work. Fun stuff!
Butter closed friday night with a cover of "Faith", I'm guessing it was a nod to GM being in town, they've played it a bunch before too
Was watching Flight of the Conchords on HBO yesterday and the manager told the duo, " no girlfriends, Wham never had girlfriends!" That was a good one, but I'm glad that you enjoyed the gig. My friends who worked the Freedom 91 Tour were pleasantly surprised at how good a show it was also, I remember. Good for GM,dah jitterbug!