Thursday, 15 September 2011

Symphonica - Gig Report Verona (September 14)

Second night at Verona and you'd think George Michael couldn't possible be as good as he was yesterday. Well, he was even better. Way better. The reception he got yesterday must have done him a world of good because he was just walking on water today.

Tonight's concert was a big old love-in. Every person in the audience loved George and he loved us right back. He even told us he loved us and he doesn't do that often.  He came on stage with a huge grin on his face. And, some of the sad ballads aside, that grin never left his face again that nightI have to say: happy is a great colour for him.

One sentence review: Lightning strikes twice in Verona

Please read on for more details of the night. If you prefer to read the Dutch in-depth review, it's over here.

Memorable stuff:

George Michael quote of the day:
It's a very close call between first half quote "Verona, you're fucking gorgeous" and second half quote "Good night, I love you". Let's call it a draw!

He also gave us a: "Verona, you're fucking amazing" just before the medley. Once George gets going with the 'fucking's you just know he's enjoying himself.

High point(s) of the evening:
One fantastic moment in a fantastic night was the song Let Her Down Easy. That is just such a lovely song and the passion with which George sings it warms my heart.
I love the lyrics and the sentiment. I even love the weird way the song (or is that just a George thing)? scans the word strawberry.

I'll never forget:
Tonight's performance of You've been loved. He made me cry, what can I say?

Quality stuff:

Vocal performance:
Thanks to @marj1970 we know that the official GM consultant (and isn't that a weird - but cool - job title?), mr. David Austin, was overheard saying that he considered George's vocals of tonight the best he'd heard on the Symphonica Tour so far. So there you have it!

Because of so many people arriving very late, George came on stage incredibly late (21.25) and there was no time left for You and I. He had to work his socks off to get the rest of the setlist in. He literally came running back on stage for the two encores.

In Herning I watched George trip over something during Feeling Good. Yesterday George tripped over one of the autocues while walking around during the medley. As he said: "I nearly broke my leg!". Team GM must have collectively blanched at just the thought of George in plaster, so today they took some preventive measures.
Just before the start of the show the man who is George's special chair bringer (heh) came on and attached two bright white paper crosses to the sides of the autocues facing the audience. They gave off a subtle warning glow in the dark. I thought it quite funny that George had to be assisted this way in watching where he's going.

And still he managed to trip over something tonight, this time somewhere to the right of the stage. Maybe some grounding exercises are in order, George? Or alternatively, a less crowded stage so that you're safe to walk around. We don't want George breaking his legs or any other limbs!

Other stuff:

What George did: banter with the crowd:
OK, George had a blast and was probably in the mood to chat endlessly. He was however also in a a hurry because of the late start. The second half of the night was performed at breakneck speed with almost no pause between the songs. So hardly any time for chats with the audience. Even so he did manage to say and do some cute stuff tonight.

George seems to think there is a 25Live album, bless him. Heard him make this mistake twice now. Musical genius he may be, but he's adoringly bad in remembering such little details about his work as release dates of songs or even titles of his own CDs.

For the first few songs George had his 'mirror shades' on and we couldn't see much of his face. Fortunately he changed glasses just before Let Her Down Easy and gave us a cute apology. As he told the crowd he keeps forgetting that the mirror shades are only meant for Through and just leaves them on.

And there is one person who's just had the 'best birthday ever', right here in the Arena di Verona. Just before You've Changed George told us people were holding a big sheet up asking him to dedicate a song to someone because it was their birthday. As he couldn't read the name he had to ask. Well, the lucky girl or woman was called Debora(h).
George wished her a  happy birthday, asked for applause for her and blew her a cute kiss! And whoever she is, she's got amazing friends because they must've been holding that sheet up for quite a while as George said good humouredly: "Poor old arms!"

What we did: audience reaction:
We were loud! Even louder than yesterday. George got applause during all the songs. Yes, even the last few lines of Where I Hope You Are got a round of applause. George didn't mind, he just asked the audience whether they liked 'the new song'. And gave us that beautiful smile again when we responded with yet another round of applause.

What they did: musicians and other personnel
Tonight I saw the lighting guys climb up to their 'desks' high above the ground. I had not seen them before now, maybe they are only up there with the outdoor stage?

The guy playing the harp so beautifully (he gets a spotlight all to himself and a shout-out during I Remember You) could well be a GM fan. He seems to be enjoying himself immensely, clapping the beat during Russian Roulette, going almost as wild as the audience during the medley.


  1. I had the luck to be in front row that night and I was so enjoying the encore! There was a guy in the first row of the orchestra who almost went beside himself, swinging to I'm Your Man! He was so funny. He was even swinging his violin in time to the beat. Must be the same age group as we are and have some great memories to that song, lol.


  2. Aww, how cool! I love how musicians in the orchestra react to George. There's one woman sitting rather close to George and she's always throwing furtive glances at him! Fun to see that even women in the orchestra are not immune to the GM charm:)