George Michael Symphonica Orchestral Tour, London 2012

For the last several days London City became a happy and welcome host of the world famous artist George Michael, who came here to perform as a part of his Orchestral Tour “Symphonica”. Originally. it was supposed to take place in December 2011, and all the fans were holding their breath in admiration, waiting for the phenomenal event to come…when it suddenly got cancelled due to the artist’s health problems [George Michael shelves UK shows due to pneumonia on BBC] Through out the last year many things have changed, the artist has recovered, and the tickets got resold, giving some of us another chance to see one of the greatest male singers alive.

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The tickets were obviously quite pricey, and if you wanted to get closer to the stage, you could give away hundreds and hundreds of pounds. I think I have seen some top VIP tickets for up to one thousand. The cheapest ones, on the top of the balcony went for around 50-55 pounds. If you wanted to see the artist’s face, it was probably not the best option. However, for those who have limited resources it is better than nothing. Besides, he was occasionally displayed on the big screen, filmed in real time, and it was quite spectacular.

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His first appearance on stage was phenomenal. Behind the red curtains there came a giant silhouette, and we heard the first music accords. The audience was roaring and clapping actively in pleasure. Behind the curtains there was the artist himself, and the orchestra, performing with the big interactive screen on the background, which served as a main resource of special effects. It started as a complex patter of curling lines, slowly growing into a big picture, which said “Siphonica”.

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According to some of the reviews, the special effects were spectacular. However, I personally have quite mixed feelings about it. Certain parts were truly amazing, like the ones showing the artist, and particular orchestra members. Most of the images, and animation was really high quality. Nevertheless, some bits were striking me as plain, e.g. giant “Love” letters, seemed quite basic, and too computerised. Similar effect was observed in the burning cross. I had the feeling that those bits and pieces were made by completely different people, who were not aware of each other’s work.

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George Michael was, of course, smashingly elegant and charismatic. Despite the elder age, his vocal skills were still on the top. During the concert he not only managed to charm the audience with his beautiful voice, but also talked about serious problems, such as religion, gay marriage issues, unhealthy addictions, and death. Although there were only sitting places in the audience, some people still managed to stand on their feet, dancing and swaying along with the music. Among his famous hits were: My Baby Just Cares for Me, Roxanne, You Have Been Loved, Father Figure, Cowboys and Angels, and Wild is the Wind. He also borrowed a Rihanna’s song Russian roulette, which sounded incredibly well in his performance.

All in all, this concert was by all means worth waiting a year, or even longer. George Michael is an absolute must for those who love ageless music, and are able to appreciate qualitative performance.

UC

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