25 Live: George Michael in Anaheim

It’s always a little scary to see your icons live, lest they disappoint you. Last weekend, at Honda Center, formerly Arrowhead Pond, in Anaheim George Michael reminded us why he is an icon, and nobody was disappointed.

He’s come a long way since I saw him last, in WHAM, circa 1984 in the Miami Baseball Stadium. It was a wake me up before you gogo thing, a repressed homosexual lust thing, and a fleeting 80’s thing. They were fun, but who knew half of WHAM would become the fully-realized, world-class entertainer who performed last night? At times, it looks as if even George never expected it himself.

I’ve heard lots of gossip about him being arrogant and difficult, and his misbehavior, G’d out behind the wheel of his Rover after an evening on Hampstead Heath, is certainly well-documented, but that’s not who was there last night. There was no drama. He kept thanking us, vowing to make up for the fact that he’d neglected us stateside for 17 years, and clearly very grateful for being so ‘lucky’. Well, what’s more endearing than that?

A cop uniform for “Outside”, that’s what. And it was HAWT.

George’s falsetto isn’t what it once was, but whose is? He belted out all the hits and some b-sides, in two hour-long ‘acts’ with a 20 minute intermission. During the first act, he sounded a little huskier than I recalled, but still delicious. His voice had clearly loosened after the break, and he was flawless.

He treated his ballads with all the delicacy and reverence they’re due, and was perfectly tongue-in-cheek about the pop fluff. It’s a striking contrast, and a testament to the fact that the man is a singing/songwriting force of nature.

Sam had the rare and incredible experience of hearing “A Different Corner” first from George’s lips. He’d never heard the song before. Now, it’s on repeat.

If you’re famous and you go see George Michael, go in disguise. He will call you out. Dr. Phil was at the show at the Forum last week, and he commented from the stage that he and his wife didn’t look so happy to be there, and suggested therapy. At the Honda show, he called out Victoria Beckham and the little Beckhams. No David, evidently.

Kathy Griffin was there too, but I guess she didn’t call Sam and me to meet her. Sheesh. Show a girl your cock and she never speaks to you again.

Marilyn Manson was there with a pair of comely does, which must have been a little awkward for him, as smack in the middle of the second act, George sang in front of three gigantic projections of his ex, Dita Von Teese, corseted, bejeweled, and writhing. THAT, my friends, is a woman. Growl.

It must be an amazing experience to stand alone on a stage and hear 15,000 people singing your songs back to you. Even after having had that experience hundreds of times, it was evident that it was still a thrill for George Michael. Excellent. The feeling was definitely mutual.

5 Responses to “25 Live: George Michael in Anaheim”

  1. Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Awesome… Of course the closest he is coming to KS is Dallas TX…

  2. Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Your review is excellent and right on the money. George was hawt in that police uniform for sure. It was an amazing concert!

  3. 3 Brenda
    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I saw him in Phoenix and at the Forum, and he was just incredible both times. Like you, I was so afraid that he wouldn’t live up to the hype, that he wouldn’t be the inspiration he’d been to me the past 20 years, but I was happily wrong. He completely owned every inch of space in both venues, and delivered.

    And, of course, made me laugh & cry & dance, sometimes at the same time. *g*

  4. Monday, July 7, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Hi, I was at this concert, too. Marilyn Manson was there? Dita Von Teese was there, too, in person, sitting a row in front of Kathy Griffin in the same section.

  5. 5 dn2erth1137
    Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Wonderful!! I can’t wait!!!! Will be in the house here in Atlanta. Thanks for the review!

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