George Michael – Symphonica Cardiff Friday 5th October 2012
Originally due in November 2011, but then George Michael became ill with pneumonia and for a while it was apparent that the gig might not actually happen, but rescheduled it was and on Friday night, for the first time in a long time, George played the Welsh capital.
Now being a fan of him since pretty much the beginning (although not as fanatical as Heather Trott was from Eastenders), I did wonder how the night would pan out. I knew it wouldn’t be the popfest that most people I think expected. In fact one of the comments from people sat around me was “wonder when he’ll do more up-tempo stuff”. The idea of the tour, “Symphonica” is one that many long term acts now do. James did it last year, and now George too has joined the realm of using a full orchestra to enhance the sound of some of his biggest songs.
Now if you discount the likes of ‘Outside’, ‘Too funky’, ‘Faith’, ‘White light’ (yes, had to mention that song here), most of George’s back catalogue lends itself perfectly well. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it was how most were intended.
Reading through other reviews of this concert it’s apparent not all who went were enamored by the first half, but the fact that tickets were about £100 each meant that fair weather fans wouldn’t just “pop along” for a night out. I read a comment about a reworking of ‘Roxanne’, the reviewer oblivious to the fact that it was featured of the Songs from the 20th Century album in 1999.
After reading the setlist from previous concerts, I was ready and waiting for White light to appear at the encore stage of the night. Gladly this didn’t materialize – he might’ve just mimed it anyway. And to the woman who threw George a little “gift” – think you might find it wasted on him…. (see the video about that bit!)
Stand out moments from the night included ‘Cowboys & Angels’, ‘You have been loved’, ‘Different corner’, ‘Praying for Time’, a cracking Rihanna cover, and to end, just George and a harp with Frank Ifield’s ‘I remember you’.
People may not have expected a concert like the one they received, but I think for the most part they thought it amazing.
My Baby Just Cares For Me
Cowboys & Angels
Kissing A Fool
Going To A Town
Let Her Down Easy
You Have Been Loved
Wild Is The Wind
Brother Can You Spare a Dime
Waiting For That Day
John & Elvis Are Dead
A Different Corner
Praying For Time
Amazing / I’m Your Man / Freedom 90
I Remember You
Review by Patrick Downes