FOLLOWING his much-publicised brush with death almost a year ago, George Michael burst back onto the British stage last night to announce: “I’m back!”
And it was like he’d never been away.
The show at Birmingham’s LG Arena was his first on British soil since his battle last November with pneumonia.
George began the Symphonica tour in August last year. After playing 46 of the original 65 dates he was hospitalised in Vienna. The resumed tour kicked off there, where he donated 1,000 tickets to the doctors and nurses who saved his life.
The rescheduled dates – there’s another one at the LG tonight (Monday, Sep 17) and still a handful of tickets available – proved in no uncertain terms that he is not only fighting fit and happy to be alive, but in the most amazing voice too.
Although the set for the night might have been slower than many may have expected the crowd still spent most of the night on its feet.
We basically got to hear the ‘For The Heart’ CD from the Ladies and Gentlemen box set, with the likes of Father Figure, Praying For Time, A Different Corner, You Have Been Loved, Kissing A Fool and Cowboys and Angels.
Slotted in between was the most spine-tingling version of The Police’s Roxanne, George’s take on David Bowie’s Wild Is The Wind – originally actually a Johnny Mathis tune, he told us – Rihanna’s Russian Roulette and Feeling Good.
The nod to Wham! came in the first encore with Freedom and I’m Your Man, and we had to wait until he second return for his new single, the amazing I Remember You.
So many acts these days rely on putting on a ‘show’. With George there were no gimmicks, unless you count his band and a full-blown orchestra to accompany him.
But when you’ve got a voice and a song-writing talent like that – who needs gimmicks?
* There are limited tickets available for tonight’s show, priced between £51-£91 (plus booking and transaction fees).
Fans wishing to see George Michael live are urged to call The Ticket Factory on 0844 338 8000 or book online via www.theticketfactory.com.