Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Symphonica Tour: Gig Report (Herning, August 29 2011)

Almost three years to the day (August 30, 2008) I saw George Michael perform live for the very last time - or so we thought at the time. As luck would have it, this was also in Denmark (they worship him over there). It was a great concert, a fitting goodbye to 25Live.

And now, three years on, George Michael is back in front of a Danish audience.
This show couldn't be more different from 25Live. George Michael has reinvented himself once again as a performer.

But no matter what he does, whether he's accompanied by a single guitarist, a 15-piece band or a whole symphonic orchestra, one thing remains constant: he's George Michael. And George Michael equals perfection. Nothing else will do.

One sentence review: He's back and he is better than ever!

Please read on for more details of the night (with spoilers). If you prefer to read the Dutch in-depth review,  you can find that here.
Memorable stuff:

George Michael quote of the day:
"You're listening beautifully!" Heh!

High point of the evening:
So many to choose from. But for me the high point came halfway through the first half: True Faith. This song means so much to me, helped me through one of the worst times of my life.
I have no experience with addiction, but I'm struggling quite a bit with the pain and desperation that leads to addiction. His cover of True Faith touches my very soul and I felt so privileged to hear him sing this for us. 

I'll never forget:
His rendition of the new song he wrote for Kenny. As soon as he spoke the words: "For Kenny", the whole audience fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Honestly, my teeth were chattering and I got goosebumps all over my body, so much emotion engulfed us all.
He barely got through the song, his voice breaking a few times. Tears in his eyes, tears in our eyes. We could see him crying when he was drinking a sip of water after the song had ended.  I think everyone who has ever had to deal with serious relationship issues was crying with him; I know I was. The applause was deafening.

Quality stuff:

Vocal performance:
Unbelievable. His voice is just getting better and better.

I believe it was the same as the setlist from Prague. Lots of songs from Songs from the last century. Highlights from the setlist as far as I'm concerned: True Faith, You've been loved, Russian Roulette, A Different Corner.  I'm a big fan of 25Live, so I'm glad he put in a little 25Live retrospective (Amazing, I'm Your Man, Freedom) for us at the end. I'll never tire of hearing Freedom.

The orchestra was visible, just. Backing singers, four of them, aren't centre stage as in 25Live. I miss the Perry Sisters, to be honest. I'm not sure how many musicians from 25Live were called back for this tour, I'm sure there were some familiar faces. I recognized Phil Palmer (rather famous guitarist) and 1 or 2 of the singers.

First half: some kind of jeans with a black jacket and black tie.
Second half: beautiful dark brown or black (couldn't make out the colour too well) suit. Just so stylish. Very prominent belt, couldn't see what was written on it.
Oh and not much jewellery, a ring on either hand. A big bracelet on one wrist and an even bigger watch  on the other.With George, that 's being rather conservative, lol.

Other stuff:

What George did: banter with the crowd
Well, he was quite chatty. He said he was glad to be back in Denmark because he'd had a great time last time. He told us up front that at the end of the show we'd get the chance to sing ourselves. Heh, actually I suspect it's George who secretly likes the singalongs every bit as much as we do. He's always loved them, from BandAid and Live Aid on!

What we did: audience reaction
Well, the audience was very appreciative, but rather quiet at first. Everybody sat quietly, it wasn't the kind of concert for standing up all the time and yelling at the top of your voice. But you could feel the tension, people wanted to clap, wanted to show their support for him. We were given free rein a few times and I think he enjoyed the noise we made!

What they did: orchestra and backing singers
At first I couldn't even see the backing singers, they were tucked away at the left side of the stage, surrounded by the orchestra. But there were four of them. I could see the conductor, sitting at the piano quite clearly and it was fun to see him confer with George a few times.


  1. Ada,
    Thank you so much for keeping us posted throughout the concert. You made us feel special, as if we were there with you.

    This post has made me very, very happy. I've never seen George live,but I hope to see him in America next year. It will be a dream come true, no doubt!

    Love the way you've commented on the symphonica and I'm so happy that everyone loved the performance. From all the tweets I've read, it is true, George is in top shape and his voice still brings magic into our heart and soul.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience with all of us!

    Thank you, Lovely Ada! XXX


  2. Thank you for the nice compliment. I hope you get to see GM next year!

  3. Thank you, Ada! Very sincere and impressive! like every George's show. Waiting for our chance..

  4. You're very welcome; writing about George is just great, lol.