CALENDER: 21. June



Sat 21 Jun 2008

George performs at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Tue 21 Jun 1994

George Michael lost his lawsuit against Sony. He claimed that his 15-year contract with Sony was unfair because the company could refuse to release albums it thought wouldn't be commercially successful.

Thu 21 Jun 2007


Just ten days ago George Michael opened the brand new Wembley arena with his state of the art 25Live show and we were incredibly lucky to get the same thing - lock, stock and barrel - at Home Park on Tuesday night, in what has to be the single most spectacular live event ever presented in Plymouth.Only a couple of weeks before, we had delighted in a concert by Elton John in the very same venue.

But while George arguably doesn't quite have the crossover sing-along back-catalogue of the Rocket Man, his stage show visuals were, quite simply, in a completely different league.

His stage towered above the ancient Mayflower stand, taking up nearly its entire width, the centrepiece being a vast metallic screen which flowed seamlessly down to form the main platform area, surrounded by an enormous runway that projected right into the middle of the crowd.

Either side of the central screen were two further huge screens and in between those another two, making five in all which dazzled the mesmerised crowd throughout with stunning CG graphics and visuals.

Projections included everything from diamonds falling through space, to a towering cityscape viewed from a helicopter, to the most simple yet impressive of all - an orange sun gradually sinking into a rippling sea.

The opening stint had come courtesy of support artist Sophie Ellis Bextor, who made up for her lack of lightshow by wearing the sparkliest green metallic mini dress reflecting an evening sun that few had dared hope for after the day's earlier deluge. As she strutted her way with trademark bent-knee stalk-walk through her sizeable collection of disco hits, culminating with a funky rendition of Murder On The Dancefloor, she did indeed succeed in getting the party started.

However the sizeable-if-not-quite-capacity crowd's buoyant mood - again manifested in a series of Mexican waves around the terraces a la Elton - was somewhat deflated by the late start of the show due to 'technical difficulties'.

Within a couple of songs, however, the wow factor had taken over and all that was forgotten as George kicked in, early on, with a slick and sophisticated rendition of Fastlove that enticed the up-for-it audience into dance and participation mode from the off. The show itself belonged entirely to the main man - the nine musicians in his phenomenal band were well hidden in among the scaffolding and although his six backing singers and four band members ventured out occasionally, by and large it was left to George to cover the entire massive stage alone.

Four Wham songs made it into the set, the irresistibly infectious I'm Your Man, Everything She Wants, plus Edge of Heaven and Freedom, as the final encore.

A hi-octane delivery of Outside, after the break, in which George donned an American cop uniform, proved a high point as did the bongo-fuelled Faith and the heartfelt Amazing, "dedicated to the man I love".

But actually some of the ballads - Jesus to a Child and Careless Whisper - worked particularly well, with George at his melodic, emotive best.

As we wandered home savouring this, the second superb show at the home of the greens, we wondered who's next in store for this excellent new city arena.