11 Jun 1988
performs on the "Nelson Mandela Birthday concert FREE
MANDELA" at Wembley Stadium, London,
11 Jun 1988
later on the
night after the Mandela gig George played his second of 6
nights at Earls Court,
Mon 11 Jun
by a superstar
Updated: 12:01am BST 11/06/2007
Michael was engaging, entertaining and occasionally terrific...
but the new Wembley stole the show, finds David Cheal
So, wembley is back in
business, though not quite with the big bang that it deserved.
Long before the completion of this troubled project, George
Michael had pestered the stadium's management to allow him the
honour of being the first artist to perform at the rebuilt venue
and, having been granted his wish, he launched the new Wembley
with a sparkling show featuring hits from his 25-year career,
sung with his customary elegance and conviction.
and again I found myself looking not at the lonely-looking
figure of Michael but at the remarkable stage setting behind him,
with its giant rolling screen that curled from ceiling to floor.
Even more compelling, though, was the sight of this
extraordinary stadium with its own elegant curves; it looked
sensational, and sounded terrific, too.
began the show, visible only on the video screens, singing an a
cappella version of Tim Buckley's Song to the Siren. Then, to
enormous cheers from the fans, a doorway lit up like a gateway
into another dimension opened, and the man himself swaggered on.
"Wembley" like a man who'd been waiting a lifetime to
say it, the band launched into the chunky groove of Fast Love,
the crowd, a sea of blonde highlights, began to jiggle, and we
followed was entertaining, engaging, and occasionally - as in
the fabulous Freedom and the timeless Careless Whisper -
terrific. But there were times, too, when the momentum was lost:
his choice of material was a little peculiar (why test the
crowd's patience with Elton John's maudlin ballad Idol?) and
there were a few too many anonymous-sounding groove-based
the band more or less hidden from view, it was left to Michael
to carry the show. It takes a man with a big, big presence to
reach out and grab a stadium and, to be frank, though he may
have a gigantic ego, his personality just wasn't compelling
enough. He is not Freddie Mercury or, for that matter, Robbie
was always the stage to look at, a stunning piece of visual
engineering which, as evening moved into night time, became a
thing unto itself, a feast of colour and pattern. And the crowd,
clapping, swaying and waving their arms like a forest of sea
anemones, played their part in making this a memorable show.
But for me,
above all, the night belonged to Wembley: warm, resonant,
friendly, the stadium was the star.
11 Jun 2007
kicks off with a Wham!
John Aizlewood, Evening Standard 11.06.07
eight miles from George Michael's Bushey roots to Wembley's
gleaming new stadium. Yet, on Saturday when he became the first
act to play there since its £793 million refurbishment met its
construction deadline at the fourth time of asking, he had made
the journey of his lifetime.
think," he gushed, "I'm the first person to say 'good
evening Wembley.'" And just to make sure he was undeniably
the first, Michael eschewed support acts, thus keeping what he
rightly anointed as "the most patient fans in the world"
waiting for three hours with only the prospect of a £4.50 pie
of indeterminate filling as distraction from the sun-kissed
So while the
local megastar was the man for the occasion, for the first half
of Michael's two-and-a-half-hour show the occasion was rather
flat once he had crooned Tim Buckley's Song To The Siren
backstage before lurching into Fast Love, and not merely because
new Wembley's sound problems were much the same as the old's.
hardly helped himself. As if fearful of creating a spectacle,
his band was cast into darkness to lurk guiltily on some rigging
and, instead of dancers Michael left himself to entertain a
stadium on his own. Obvious charisma notwithstanding, the task
proved too much whether he was attempting to re-create a
mid-Eighties gay disco (an insurmountable task in daylight
before an overwhelmingly heterosexual audience of 75,000) on Too
Funky, or supper club intimacy while perched on a stool to
deliver Father Figure.
this was an arena show (and one almost identical to Michael's
pre-Christmas Earls Court dates) rather than a stadium
experience. There were effects, but they were either cheap or,
as during the disastrous Shoot The Dog, which featured a British
bulldog orally pleasuring a blow-up George Bush, toe-curlingly
the second half was better the moment it began with Michael
dressed as an American policeman for a turbo-charged Outside and
an audience including ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, famous
divorcée Ivana Trump, plus television presenter Claire Sweeney
began to revel in the nostalgia trip.
For an hour,
the concert was broadcast live on Channel 4 and, tellingly,
Michael was so galvanised he cheerily invited the press to
"kiss my hairy Greek arse", a somewhat ungrateful
response to 25 years of indulgence on and off stage.
By the end,
he had, for reasons never explained, played Freedom 90 twice,
dedicated Amazing to "the man I love", current beau
Kenny Goss, embraced his Wham! legacy with a spirited I'm Your
Man and Edge Of Heaven and melted even the flintiest of hearts
with a mighty Careless Whisper to complete Michael's journey and
christen new Wembley in the manner it warranted.
11 Jun 2008
'THE FINAL TWO'
GEORGE MICHAEL IS TO PERFORM HIS LAST ARENA SHOWS IN THE UK AT
ON THE 24TH and 25TH AUGUST 2008!!
George Michael announces
today that he is to play 2 special concerts at Earls Court on 24th
and 25th August to mark the end of his 25 Live Tour that started
in Barcelona in September 2006!
Having spent the last 20 months entertaining over 1.3 million fans
across Europe with a 49 date 25 Live Tour, followed by a 30 date
25 Live Stadium tour — which incorporated a spectacular opening
of the newly built Wembley Stadium - Michael will continue to
thrill audiences as he ventures to North America to perform his
extraordinary show this summer!
But, not one to overlook his dedicated British fans, and as his
way of saying thank you, Michael will return to London to end his
tour with two exclusive, filmed, concerts at Earls Court entitled
THE FINAL TWO which is a nod to his sell out Wembley Stadium show,
'THE FINAL' with Andrew Ridgeley in 1986 when he brought the
curtain down on Wham! These very special shows will naturally
feature Michael's hits, some tracks not previously performed in
Britain, and a stunning new stage set. These shows are truly not
to be missed by any George Michael fan.
25 Live stunned fans and critics alike when Michael took to the
stage after a noticeable 15 year absence, generating praise across
Europe, and being referred to as "a masterclass in pop genius"
by The Observer. The Sun said, "George proved he is simply
one of the best vocalists this country has ever produced. A
Tickets for both 25 Live European Tours in 2006 and 2007 were
snapped up in mere minutes as fans clamoured to see Michael
perform songs from a career that has spanned over quarter of a
century to date, and which has seen the star perform at some of
the music industries biggest and most important concerts in
history, including Live Aid and the Nelson Mandela concerts both
in 1988, the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992, Net Aid in
1999 and Live 8 in 2006.
George Michael has enjoyed one of the most successful and enduring
careers in the history of pop music, having sold over 100 million
records world wide and achieved seven US number one singles, 11
number one British singles and six number one album.
Michael Fanclub members have access to
an special pre-sale that starts on Wednesday 11th June @ 7pm GBT.
Tickets for both dates will go on sale to the public on Friday
13th June 2008 at 8am and can be purchased by calling the venue
box office on 0870 903 9033 or the 24hr ticket hotline on 0844 847
1525. Tickets can be purchased online at www.seetickets.com