Sunday, 23 September 2012

Symphonica - Gig report Manchester (September 21)

So, Manchester! November last year I asked on twitter which UK crowd would be the most fun for a George Michael fan. Sam (@sjrsam) assured me that the Manchester crowd was especially fond of George. So the search for a good ticket was on! A few days later a wonderful row 4 ticket came up and without thinking too much about it I snapped it up. I'm glad I did because the Manchester crowd was indeed great, George was still in a fun mood and I had a wonderful time.

Medley Fun
One sentence review: George loves Manchester and Manchester loves George!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Symphonica - Gig Review Birmingham (September 17)

So, the second night back in the UK George Michael was - to my mind at least - even better than the first. That is usally the case whenever he does performs two nights in a row in the same city, which is why I wanted tickets for Monday as well! His voice sounded a bit fuller. He was obviously still on a roll, treating us to some minor variations in the songs and dancing up a storm. Once more everyone on stage and all 16.000 of us watching the stage had a great time!

Loving all the blue!
George was wearing a new, blue suit. I gotta say, ever since my belated discovery that my beloved red curtain isn't red at all (it's black, and it's actually the expert lighting that gives it that shiny red look!), I'm a bit unsure about any colour to do with Symphonica. So it took a lot of looking at my pics and even a quick ask on twitter before I was convinced this really was a blue suit.

It's a bit of an unusual colour for George, but I really like it - actually I think the whole look he's chosen for himself for Symphonica is great. I can't stress enough how glad I am George is not going the plastic surgery route but seems finally ready to believe that - no matter his age - his sex appeal will shine through. And it really does you know, just hearing George drawl "Oh yes", as the audience shows it's appreciation at the first tones of Kissing A Fool can send shivers down your spine!

One sentence review: George feels the love for Birmingham!

Symphonica - Gig Report Birmingham (September 16)

Over the years I've had the privilege to see George Michael all over Europe, I've also seen a couple of shows in America and quite a few shows in London. But it occurred to me last year that I had never seen him perform outside London in any of the other UK cities. All of a sudden I became very curious what he'd be like on his first night back on a UK stage. And so I bought a couple of good last-minute tickets for Cardiff, and started looking forward to being in the crowd that would welcome George Michael home. And then of course the universe had other plans for George and those Cardiff shows never happened.

Finally - Symphonica is back in the UK

Imagine my dismay when a glance at the new tour schedule told me that Birmingham was now awarded the honour of the first UK Symphonica shows of 2012, Cardiff being relegated to a place somewhere near the end of the tour. What's a loyal fan to do? After mulling it over for months, my desire to be there on his first nights in the UK finally won out. And I'm so glad I decided to go for it after all; they were brilliant shows and I got to see a whole new side of George!

One sentence review: Birmingham makes a noise for George!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Symphonica - Gig Report Amsterdam (September 14)

By and large I try to avoid telling people outside of the GM-fandom (aka normal people) how many Symphonica shows I've been to. As soon as they hear I've seen the show more than once you can see the thought "This a very weird woman" forming in their minds. What comes out though is the polite version. "But why go again?, they say. "It's just the same show, isn't it"? Well no, not really. Not all Symphonica shows are created equal.
But how do you explain that - even though the setlist might be exactly the same-  some shows are a perfectly nice night out while other shows blow your mind and leave you exhilarated, and smiling at the world for days. I don't even try and opt for a rather lame: "Well, you  know, he changes things around quite a bit". Hey, they're not fans, how are they to know that George almost never changes things around!

This pic says it all - I'll be a GM-fa n forever!
Friday night was one of those incredible shows! Today, writing this review I'm still buzzing with the memory of having been at an amazing show. It was truly amazing and it was on a different level from the shows I've seen so far. I totally agree with @dutchieemy: we got our old George Michael back! Long may it last.

One sentence review: George and the Dutch crowd are  f**ng fantastic!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Symphonica - Dutch review Vienna (Sept. 4)

This is the Dutch review - the English review is over here.
Dit is overigens geen klassieke review, dat is niet nodig want de feiten zijn inmiddels al lang en breed bekend. Meer een terugblik op hoe ik die eerste Symphonica show van 2012 beleefd heb.

George is back!
Zo, de kop is er af. George Michael staat weer op het podium met zijn Symphonica show, krijgt fantastische reviews en alle fans zijn opgetogen en razend enthousiast. Daarnaast was ik persoonlijk - en misschien ben ik daar de enige in hoor - bijzonder opgelucht dat hij er inderdaad helemaal klaar voor was. Ik vond het eerlijk gezegd nog al een drieste move dat hij relatief snel na zijn herstel weer zo'n vermoeiende tour had gepland. Zeker toen bekend werd dat hij de uitgestelde Australische tour er ook nog achteraan zou plakken! Net als veel andere fans had ik - met de beelden uit december 2011 van een breekbare en sterk vermagerde George nog op mijn netvlies - verwacht dat hij een jaartje zou overslaan. Maar nee, hij wilde niet langer wachten, wilde ons misschien niet langer laten wachten. En dus was het 4 september weer tijd voor een grote GM-re√ľnie.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Symphonica Gig Report - Paris (September 9)

So, another charity show at another famous Opera House. It's rather a big deal that George Michael bagged both the London and the Paris Opera House for his Symphonica Tour. Just like the London Royal Opera House the Palais Garnier is a stunning venue. Although the Royal Albert Hall will always remain my one true love, it was certainly memorable to walk around in such a old, venerable building, surrounded by so many smartly dressed people.

Isn't the lighting during Cowboys and Angels breathtaking?
I think George Michael must have secretly rejoiced in the fact that nowadays his talent, and his voice is so much appreciated that he's warmly welcomed in theatres as prestigious as these. He's certainly come a long way from being the boy with the blond highlights and the Choose Life t-shirt. And I'm glad for him because for a long time all he wanted was to be taken seriously as an artist. With the rave reviews still pouring in, no one will ever mistake George Michael for just another popstar again.

One sentence review: George Michael's star shines brightly at the Paris Opera

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Symphonica - Gig Report Vienna (September 6)

George Michael seems well aware of the army of devoted fans who are going to as many shows as they can afford. He tweeted after the first Vienna show that he was sure some lovelies would come to the second show as well. Heh, he was certainly right about that!

And so it was that on Thursday I showed my ticket to the nice lady at the entrance of the Floor section of Stadhalle. "Straight ahead, and to the right", she tells me and adds in an earnest voice: "It's the first row". I nodded my thanks, trying and failing to keep a straight face. "Yes dear, I know it's the first row, I've been rejoicing in this ticket, this front row seat, for months now, thanks very much". It was a big expenditure and made a big dent in my dwindling GM-funds but I just couldn't help myself. Front row at the second of the come back shows was a fabulous if way too expensive gift to myself and I was determined to enjoy every second of the night. And I did!

Those beautiful red swirls of  the 25Live visuals for Father Figure are back!
One sentence review: George and the crowd build happy memories of Vienna.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Symphonica - Gig Report Vienna (September 4)

Close to 20.30 the moment we've all waited for is finally there; George Michael steps onto the stage of the Wiener Stadhalle to rapturous applause. Clad in yet another beautiful suit, dark purple with a white shirt this time, and looking the picture of good health.

Looking very sexy in his new suit!
He's just a tad late, nearly 10 months late to be precise. But dear God, this is one time we didn't mind waiting for George! For a few awful weeks last year it looked like we would have to say goodbye to our man forever. As George himself will tell us in song later that night it took a great deal of music, science and the fervent prayers of his loved ones, fans and everyone else who wished him well to bring him safely through. So this show is above all else a celebration of life. And today life is good for George, that much is clear right from the start.

One sentence review: George Michael is BACK!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back on the road again

Well, here we all are again for Symphonica, round 2! A little older and a little wiser. Or not as the case may be - really George, again with the overcrowded tour schedule? Never mind, George is alive and if you're reading this, so are you! And in the end, that's all that matters.

Anyway, Symphonica 2012 or #Symphonica2 as it's been dubbed, is about to start and I don't know about you but I'm all excited. Time to get back on the road again and live the the wonderful but hectic life of the die-hard fan.