Saturday, 27 August 2011

Celebrating 25Live - part 1 (2006)

Now that Symphonica: The Orchestral Tour has begun I'm feeling all nostalgic for George Michael's last tour, 25Live. I thought it would be fun to look back at 25Live and share some of my memories. Today: a closer look at 2006. You can find memories of 2007 right here.

2006: Humble George
If there is one word that characterized George Michael on stage in 2006, it would be humble, with grateful a very close second. Here was a star starting over, wanting to connect with his fans again. We, the fans still loved him, and it was obvious our continued love and support moved him deeply. 

George looking happy (Wembley Arena December 2006)
Wanna know which shows I saw in 2006 and how good they were? Read on for 6 mini concert-reviews.

Oberhausen: October 14, 2006
Our first one.

There he is! Its really him!

 Memorable for:
  • That very first entrance.
    I’ve been in quite a few audiences where people see George Michael for the first time in years. The reaction of the crowd is always the same. The door in the video screen opens, he steps out on stage and the crow goes WILD. That’s how it was for us in Oberhausen. Tears in our eyes, we were on our feet with the rest of the audience. I'll never forget it.
  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
    The very best performance of that song of the whole tour. Achingly beautiful.
  • Outside.
    I swear for one second I thought that a real helicopter was descending on the stage, that's how great those 2006 graphics were.

Rotterdam: November 1, 2006
The loud one!

Memorable for

  • Careless Whisper.
    Always a fan favourite and perfect for a first encore. What made it so special in Rotterdam was the reaction of the audience. The second the first tones of Careless Whisper hit our ears, the crowd as one man started singing the song. George was so taken aback that he stopped singing for a few lines. Great! Here's a clip, video quality isn't great but if you listen carefully you hear George coming in again halfway through the first verse.
  • Hearing My Mother Had A Brother live was a dream come true for my wife and me. This is the song we listened to just before getting married. That night in Rotterdam we held each other tightly and listened in awe.
Rotterdam: November 2, 2006
The second night, the Dutch fans loved George just as much.

Memorable for:
The devotion of a true fan. I sat next to a sweet guy from the US who flew all that way to hear George sing. Little did I know that in 2 years from then I’d do the same - flying across the Atlantic Ocean to hear George sing.

Rotterdam: November 4, 2006
George loves all of us!

Memorable for:
George’s emotion at the end of the show. He thanked us all profusely, telling us he’d had a fantastic time in our country. "Thank you for singing all night with me! Aww, so sweet. 2006 George was adorable!

London, December 15, 2006
Where we made the mistake of sitting too far away.

Memorable for:
An important lesson: don’t try to save a few pounds by buying seats far away. We were right at the back and way up in Wembley Arena and that’s miles from the stage. George is much more fun up close.  
Oh and George had a cold, but still gave a fine vocal performance. As he jokingly said:”What’s a bit of snot between friends”. So true!

London, December 17, 2006
The last one. Well that’s what we thought at the time.

Memorable for 2 things: one thing that did happen and one thing that regrettably didn’t happen.
What happened: Last Christmas! Live, with lovely cheesy graphics. Woohoo!
What didn’t happen: a Wham! Reunion. In spite of the tabloid press assuring us it was definitely going to happen Andrew failed to materialise on stage. Only George and Andrew know what went wrong. Or if it was ever even on the cards. When it comes to George Michael, you can’t believe half of what you read in the papers.

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