The scene outside the Royal Albert Hall tonight, lots of smiling people standing around, happy that tonight's show was definitely happing, couldn't be more different than the scene on Wednesday.
Then people were standing around in little groups, anxiously discussing the news amongst themselves: George Michael was ill and tonight's performance was cancelled. Everybody was looking bewildered, confused and very disappointed. I didn't see any angry faces though and I think that's remarkable, considering that cancelling/postponing a show like this come with a massive price-tag for all the fans. Some people flew in for just this one show, others like my wife and I booked a hotel for all RAH dates and were now wondering if George would cancel all his London dates. Thankfully, this was not the case.
The attitude of the fans was testament to how loyal most George Michael fans are! But we were all feeling a bit lost, and I think that went for the musicians as well. Henry Hey's tweet of later that night (to the pub? what to do) I thought summed up everyone's feelings perfectly.
But a lot can change in a few days and so George put on Tuesday's show on Friday. This must have been the triumphant homecoming he envisioned for himself on his first shownight back on English soil, in that most beautiful of venues, the Royal Albert Hall. With him on top of his game and the audience going crazy for him!
One sentence review: George is all better, things back to normal!
This is the English recaplet, a link for a longer Dutch review for all nights at RAH together will appear here when I am back home in the Netherlands again. You could always check for more updates on twitter (dutch_ada).
Quote of the night:
George, realising that 5 songs about the end of a relationship are a bit much: “Don't worry, it gets less depressing later on!”
And George took his leave of us with a “London as ever you were fucking amazing” followed a few minutes later by an “I really love you, London!”
The real George Michael:
It's no secret that George loves coming home to sing for his London fans; so what is George like in London?
The real George Michael loves his London audience, he told us so repeatedly! He was in a very good mood tonight, happy that all his health troubles were behind him. His voice sounded great again, much better than Tuesday night. His Russian Roulette was certainly the best I heard since Herning, two months ago!
He had a bit of trouble with his lines in all the excitement - Start of Through among others and he got caught out again by that second line of Feeling Good – but nothing could spoil the fun. Besides, I got a good look at the autocue on Tuesday and you wouldn't believe how tiny those letters are! George must have pretty good eyesight for a 48-year old, or those glasses hide great varifocal lenses.
George was relaxed, and so tonight we got the jokes I had been waiting for on Tuesday (look for them on twitter @GeorgeMofficial). Personally I loved the one about not being superstitious because he was wearing the jacket he went to court in. For heavens sake, George, why? It's not as if he doesn't have other stuff to wear.
George showed off his figure, because he wanted us all to know he's not fat, he was quite certain the press had “doctored the pics”. Could well be, the evilness of the English tabloid press is a constant source of amazement to me. That said, I think George looks his dishy best in his Armani suit with tie; to my mind the jacket and t-shirt combo (without a tie) doesn't do him any favours.
Let's get this party started:
This London crowd was determined to have a good time! A London audience is like no other, they have a tendency to treat a George Michael concert like a visit to a very nice (albeit very expensive) pub, getting up from their seats all the time throughout the night to get some more alcohol.
But apart from that they were very, very loud and vocal.
Henry Hey waa swaying happily at his piano again, the backing vocalists were having their own party during most of the songs (watch them during Wild Is The Wind!!), in short: things were back to normal.
Every Other Lovely In The World (tm @tantegeraldine):
Behind us was one of those very vocal male fans. George was hardly on stage before his voice boomed out: “We love you George!” The shout was picked from different sides of the hall, causing George to reply with a smile: “Well, I love you too, but don't shout it out during the more sensitive bits”. And, with one or two exception, they didn't!
And finally: Jay, Shirley, Lucy & Lincoln
Anyone who's been to a 25Live show or a Symphonica show knows these four wonderful singers by sight if not by name. For all others: these four are probably the best backing vocalists touring today! I've called them the fab four once but that doesn't do them justice. I now think of them as the heavenly four, because this might be how the heavenly choirs sound, voices melting together in perfect harmony.
They always look great, but tonight the ladies were wearing exceptional dresses, showing off their endless, beautiful legs. I think they are wonderful and really miss seeing them all the time now they are sort of hidden away this tour. All four of them are always in a good mood, all their movements – even while seated and not on backing duty – are always beautifully choreographed. They are just great!