of fans looked on in Barcelona on Saturday as singer George
Michael began his first tour for 15 years.
black and sporting his trademark sunglasses and goatee, the
43-year-old performed a selection of hits that included Faith,
Careless Whisper and the Wham! hit I'm Your Man.
At one point
in the concert, the British star unveiled a 50ft inflatable
puppet of President George Bush - the target of his
controversial 2002 single Shoot the Dog.
due to perform in the UK in November and December. Here is what
the UK press made of his comeback appearance.
GUARDIAN - ESTHER ADDLEY
When you have sold 85 million albums around the world, you can
afford to do things your way.
about taking a 15-year career break, however, is that no one
quite knows what to expect when you return.
Michael play it kitsch, perhaps rattling through some of his
cheesier early hits with Wham!? Or would he aim for the "housewives'
favourite" market inhabited by some of his contemporaries?
was somewhere between the two, the 43-year-old singing for more
than two hours without a single faltering note.
INDEPENDENT - PIERRE PERRONE
Michael turns this 18,000-capacity arena into a giant disco when
he's not delivering some killer ballads in his rich, emotive
curtain drops to reveal the singer emerging from a giant
cascading video screen, the audience gasps in wonder.
quota literally hits the roof when a giant caricature of George
Bush inflates from the middle of the screen during Shoot the
half doesn't quite reach the same heady heights, but it's
obvious that Michael has reconnected with his audience.
TIMES - DAVID SINCLAIR
While absence makes the heart goes fonder, it does little to
hone an artist's performing skills.
Michael was clearly relishing the occasion, it took a while for
him to find his voice and for the production to find its feet.
besetting problem, particularly during the first half of the
show, was an excess of slow, maudlin ballads which cumulatively
drained the show of its energy.
landscape has changed in his absence, and at times he looked a
- VICTORIA NEWTON
Michael proved he is simply one of the best vocalists this
country has ever produced with a stunning performance of hits
from his giant back catalogue.
at the Palau Sant Jordi to the kind of reception reserved for
megastars, and he didn't let anyone down.
including Freedom, Faith and encore Careless Whisper sounded as
fresh as they did first time round.
sounded amazing, and his ballads were played to silence from a
crowd eating from the palm of his hand.