Friday, August 29, 2008, 12:46 AM ( 11319 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorGeorge Michael makes me smile. I realized through most of his show on Wednesday night that I was smiling - even during his ballads. It's probably, in part, because he filled that giant Key Arena with authentic, charismatic love and joy the entire 2 hours+ extravaganza. The other part - just being in the fit and glorious George Michael's presence is enough to make me grin like a complete and utter idiot.
He sang and danced in the way only George Michael can on a marvelous space-age stage colored with changing digital art. The sweetness that is A Different Corner had a sea and sunset. Other songs had a disco ball, a display of rotating great lovers of the 20th century including Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and Liz Taylor and Feeling Good had Dita Von Teese stripping in feathers and in a champagne glass. Somewhere during the truly jaw-dropping wham bam trio of Amazing, Flawless, and Too Funky there was a laser beam rainbow slashing and morphing across the stage. Too Funky featured clips from the video with supermodels Linda Evangelista, Tyra Banks and Estelle Hallyday. That motorcycle outfit from the video is etched in my retinas and was stunning over 80 feet tall. For Outside Michael pranced around in a modified cop uniform - this and the rainbow laser stage may have been my favorite moments. He mentioned how kind America has been to him before he performed Hard Day, and how the song off Faith, is an American favorite. Singing Won't You Give Me a Break . . . /Trust Me/I Want You to Trust Me . . ./'Cause I Won't Bring You Down it's true, I am thrilled to see Michael in top form and America (gay and straight) has maintained his relevancy.
The enthusiasm that gripped the audience was something else. Across the stadium from me I could see a guy in a pink top in the aisles doing insane jumping jacks and yet dancing really well. Others were dancing and jumping too - they all knew the words to Michael's songs, chanting and embracing the air along with the show closer, Freedom! '90. Oh, and footage from the David Fincher-directed Freedom! '90, one of the hottest videos ever made, featuring supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista (again!) punctuated the digital stage during the finale.
Michael's voice is an instrument all on its own and was smooth and emotive perfection in every song. Careless Whisper, Everything She Wants and Kissing a Fool are fresh classics all over again. My only gripe - and still, this is just coming from a place of love is that Michael did not do Monkey or Wham!'s Freedom. You can't do every song though when you're George Michael there are just too many of them. He did 25 songs - if you break up the combined Fastlove/I'm Your Man - and yes, his new album is called TwentyFive, so there you go! But let's get back to smiles, George Michael has a smile that lights up a gigantic arena and I swear I could see that bright light from anywhere.
You can see more of my photos from the show here.