Friday, March 05, 2010

George in Melbourne

So after dropping the equivalent of a small country's GNP on going to Sydney to see him, I got an email with cheap tickets for George Michael in Melbourne. Can't not, right? I convinced Andrea and Jo that they couldn't not, either, and so after picking up my new car, we drove down to Melbourne last night.

Finding a park, we had dinner at Nandos, where their big screen gave us a taste of what was to come, inside in Etihad Stadium.

We made our way upstairs to Level 3, and seats halfway up the level, directly in front of the stage. Unlike Sydney, the ground below was only half allocated for seating, which left a gaping green grass hole below us.

Momentarily, the announcer at the Dome (why?), informed us the concert was about to start, the lights went down, the crowd screamed, and Waiting began from off stage.

He soon launched into the Fastlove and I'm Your Man double, wowing the crowd. A slip encouraging 'Sydney' to get into it was forgiven, as he then ended the remix of the Wham! hit, and acknowledging that the original version was what was wanted.

Father Figure was gorgeous, before George dedicated You Have Been Loved...and then lost composure for the last lines. Perhaps being a little tired and emotional, Everything She Wants started as the massive hit it is, before George again implored 'come on Sydney' not once, but twice, lost the parochial and proud Melbourne crowd.

A chant of Melbourne went around the crowd, and then silence met George's chatter to the crowd here. Suddenly, my overindulgence to fly to see him in Sydney had paid for itself. That, plus the fact that the stadium wasn't full, and the crowd around me sat down for most of it, and made us feel like we had guilty feet (see what I did there!!??) for standing for a couple of tracks.

George then walked out into the crowd on the catwalk stage jutting out to the middle of the arena, and unleashed a tirade for Rupert Murdoch, and the media in general, before playing An Easier Affair. The vocal strength of One More Try brought the evening back for me, as he shone with that voice, whether most of the crowd knew the song or not.

A Different Corner led to an energy filled Too Funky, with Star People seeing him through to the interval, and a lie down or a pep up, whatever it took!

Refreshed, and opening with the strumming of Faith, forgiven for his gaff, George dazzled with Spinning The Wheel. A step down to his jazz album, and Nina Simone's Feeling Good (where he hushed the crowd for the start), and then Roxanne showing off that vocal range again.

George seemed exhausted, at one point announced that he was knackered, and that is was much too hot for an Englishman. He also stated that this would be his last (last this tour, George, or forever??). He joked that earlier when we may have heard him calling out to Sydney, that his mate Sydney was in fact there at the front of the crowd. Moving My Mother Had A Brother, and then the 3 smashes of Amazing (to anyone who has found The One, he said, dedicating it to Kenny), high energy Flawless, and cheeky Outside in police garb brought down the house.

The sax started the encore of Careless Whisper, was was incredible. Back off stage, I wasn't sure he would return, but he did for Freedom 90, to end the night.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, Sydney has proved better than Melbourne. Nevertheless, it was truely amazing to see the great George Michael on home soil, and he thanked the crowd for the span of his career.

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