Sunday, 28 August 2011

Celebrating 25Live - part 3 (2008)

In 2008 the long awaited American Tour finally happened. And we were there! We’d always wanted to visit America, so we were happy to plan our holiday around George Michael’s tour dates in 2 big cities: New York and Washington. We were far less happy with the dates of the tour, smack in the middle of July, one of the hottest months of the year. I’ve never been so hot! And I've been to Nigeria, not exactly a cold spot.

But in the end it was all worth it. George gave three fine performances, clearly very happy to be back in the land of his worst tour experience (Faith Tour). This time around he had a great time! And we did too!

The GM trucks outside the venue in Washington

2008: showman George
In 2008 George Michael had evolved again into a real showman. His voice was getting better and better. His dance moves got more exuberant and certainly more sexy. He also got much better at talking to the crowds, some nights the problem was getting him to shut up!

There were significant changes to the setlist.  George's American audience had sort of lost track of him after Faith, so this new setlist was heavy on the Faith stuff.
Also he put mixes in there, a big surprise for me. Loved it, some of my favourite mixes were in there (Spinning the Wheel, Fastlove, I’m your man). He also sang Feeling Good, a Nina Simone cover. He’d recorded this song for the series finale of tv-show Eli Stone. 
And to my utter delight One More Try was added to the setlist. The Gospel Version! I’ve always said George should do a gospel album, he’s got just such a beautiful voice for that kind of music. Well, a girl can dream.

Wanna see what shows I went to in 2008 and how very good George was? Please read on for 6 mini-reviews.

New York, July 21 2008
New York welcomes George Michael back home! Another loud one.

Memorable for:
  • George talking, talking and then talking some more. Seriously, you couldn't get him to shut up! He'd been so nervous the night before the show that he couldn't sleep and being sleep deprived he was a bit hyper.
  • George voice was even better than in 2007!

New York, July 23 2008
Great show, great audience

Memorable for:
Four encores! I heard Fantasy live for the first time. Great song!

Washington,  July 29 2008
The happy one

Memorable for
  • Learning that George once had a nanny called Auntie Josephine.
  • George being incredibly happy onstage. Maybe he was relieved the two big shows at Madison Sqare Garden had been a great succes. 
  • George telling the crowd that he loved us. Aww!

London, August 24 2008
George: "It’s fucking great to be home".

The Final Two tickets looked so beautiful

Memorable for
  • The total chaos at the box office collection at Earls Court. It took us hours to pick up our tickets and enter the venue.
  • George's announcement that he'd written another Christmas song. [December Song was released December 2008 through his website, another version got a standard release in 2009 and 2010]
London, August 25 2008
George: "25Live has been an amazing, amazing ride!"

Memorable for
Absolutely everything. An amazing show, everything worked. Geat band, incredible setlist. Amazing energy from George. George and the audience and fed off each other until the whole place was just exploding. Most of the footage on the Live in London DVD was shot on this night.

Kopenhagen, August 31 2008
George discovers he's been touring for a while: "Thank you for 27 years!"

Memorable for

  • Yelling to one of George’s security guys, because of the lack of adequate crowd control. There were far too many people with tickets for the Golden Circle. The crowds just got too big and we were trapped within the crowd for far too long. Never again! It took me hours to stop shivering inside. I love George and all, but this was stupid and dangerous. Fans are dangerous animals. 
  • A fantastic last show for me. We didn't know at the time that it wasn't goodbye forever.

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