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!

On the second night in Birmingham the crowd still loved George! We even forgave him the one brief moment where he seemed to think he was in Manchester already ! It was a very funny moment, with George correcting himself immediately, so no harm done! He still loved us and we still loved him. According to him we were all "fucking lovely people" and "fucking amazing"! Yes, George is definitely getting back to his old self!

All the fans together

Before the show there's always a nice little reunion of GM-fans going on near the front rows. Most die hard fans all know each other by sight - how could we not after seeing each other at so many shows. More and more our official blogger Bev gets treated as just one of the super fans, with all the lovelies who have come out to that particular show greeting her with hugs and kisses!

In Birmingham I was very happy to catch up with the wonderful Andy on Sunday and Monday after just missing him in Paris. He's such a nice guy! Never have I met someone with such a devastating effect on women young and old and the fact that he's seemingly unaware of it makes him even cuter. Heh, even the older lady next to me - more on her in a minute - wasn't immune and wanted to know who the 'nice, tall young man over there' was.

A delicious threesome

Once again I was seated in the middle block so I had a perfect view of musical director mr. Hey, easily my favourite man on stage after George. I don't know why exactly but I find him just so fun to watch! I love how he so often sings right along with George. I'm always hoping that one night he'll leave that microphone wide open so we can all hear him but of course he's far too good at his job to ever let that happen. And even if he ever did his orchestra and the sound people would probably be the only people hearing him, I don't think that microphone is hooked up to the main sound system. Pity!

Mr. Hey always gives the impression of being glad to be there, and he's never too proud to give you a nice smile when you're standing front row for the medley. Also he moves beautifully, which is a bonus if you're a conductor I guess. Otherwise all those big movements would make you look rather silly even if they got the job done. But mr. Hey looks just fine when he's standing up at the end of almost every song, spreading his arms wide to signal to the orchestra how he wants to finish things.

And if you get a chance just watch him closely at the end of Feeling Good! Poor Mark McLean has to follow both mr. Hey because he's the conductor and George's body language to make that big finish work, all three of them working closely together. I think of this bit as the guy sandwich, definitely not as sexy as the Shirley-George-Lucy one, but still very interesting to watch.

A first look at George

One of the biggest pleasures of going to lots of George Michael concerts is watching other fans have a good time, seeing their reaction at seeing the show or even George himself for the first time. Monday night this older lady was sitting next to me. Of course I couldn't wait to hear her story so I struck up a conversation with her. She told me she was a big George Michael fan, had been ever since the Wham! days. If you saw her walking down the street you'd never take her for a George Michael fan, she really wasn't the type - being at least 15 years older than the average female fan. But fan she was and this was the very first time she would see her man live! I was happy for her that she'd got hold of such excellent tickets her first time out - we were sitting row 4, almost right across from George. And wow, could she pick them; she got a terrific show!

I looked at her when she finally got to see George at the end of Through and once again I pondered the deep feelings we can have for stars like George. Her face was transformed, lit up by a soft smile, and she looked up at him with eyes filled with such love! In the break I asked her, knowing  perfectly well what her answer would be, if she was enjoying herself and she admitted that tears had come to her eyes when she first saw him. I giggled and assured this was about par for the course - my wife and I both cried when we saw him come on stage for the first time. Late in the second half of the show I whispered to her: "If you want to go to the front - best go now". And she went - and so did her friend! No question about it, George made two ladies very happy that night.

Song of the Night

True Faith is one my favourites on the setlist but up till now I hadn't really 'felt' the song so to speak. Well, that was about to change! I don't know if George did anything different or if I was finally paying attention, but on Monday True Faith hit hard and deep! I have no idea how he does it, but George brought me to a place of deep emotion where only his voice can take me. Just when I couldn't stand it any longer George decided that the perfect moment had come for a bit of Spinning The Wheel arm waving and it broke the spell. Heh, saved by the arms!

White Light

What a nice surprise, White Light is back! The first few rows - where most of the fanclub members are seated - roared as the beat started up! Funnily enough it took the rest of the crowd a fair bit longer to catch on, maybe White Light hasn't had much airplay in the UK? I loved the new visuals! Having the official video on the big screen was nice, but it's a bit too 'heavy' for use during a concert and it's so different from all the other back ground visuals. So this is pretty cool! George didn't drop to his knees at the end as he did in Brussels and Vienna, and I'm sure his knees will thank him for it! It will be interesting to see if I Remember You has now officially been replaced, I hope not.

And finally - a nice security guy!

For a couple of shows last year the security guys seemed to have it in for me and they treated me very badly. It made me me feel like I was back at school, being picked on and bullied as the only black kid and it left me heartbroken. I still don't know what the problem was, I wish George nothing but the best and of course he's got absolutely nothing to fear from me. I'll never understand why security in their 'wisdom' thought different.

But praise be, things are different now. Monday night I entered the arena and of course a security guy looked in my bags and groped around. He didn't find my camera and to be honest I don't even think he was looking for one. They are however always on the look-out for bottles and rightly so because glass bottles can potentially be very dangerous in case of an evacuation. He asked me if I had brought a bottle with me, I told him no as I know better, and looked completely astounded when he pulled one out of my bag! Suddenly I remembered that I'd bought a small bottle of juice at the train station so I could take a couple paracetamol. Sheepishly I explained. He grinned at me and offered to walk me to a counter where the contents of my bottle could be poured into a plastic cup which I would be allowed to take inside! What perfect service!

No comments:

Post a Comment