26 October 2011 (gig)
25 October 2011
Twitter’s alive with the sound of George Michael in the Royal Albert Hall at the posh end of our Georges back yard! Before I get out my Royal Albert dinner service for our candle light supper, I saw this tweet from one of his Lovelies as I started to research his concert tonight. It touched me.
“In honour of @GeorgeMichael and the arrival of Symphonia complete rainbow over the Royal Albert Hall in London”. The Royal Albert Hall was indeed beautifully and poetically framed with a vibrant rainbow. Looking at it, I took a wee notion that it was a blessing sent down from his mum. Before the men in the white coats come for me I’ll get on with my twit review.
The Lovelies are congregating at the Royal Albert hall like the proverbial bees around the honey pot! Please no puns about George & his honey pot, were going somewhat posh tonight! Now that I think about it, that’s exactly what the RAH looks like from the outside, my great aunt Annie’s honey pot. I told you no honey pot innuendoes!!!! The Lovelies are coming happy and excited and in a party mood. (I give up at this stage… coming to London and excited about the concert…behave or we’ll get thrown out!). Some are staying for the Royal Opera House Black Tie concert! They even went accessory shopping in BlueWater to tart up their posh party frocks! Post some pics please & I’ll do a fashion review as well! No I’m not too gobby for my own good thank you very much, I prefer to think that me’s multi-talented! ( Miss Piggy hair flick ) I would hazard a guess that His Nibs would tell these lovelies that the only accessory they need is his new book of “Words”, out for the first time in his concert merchandise at the RAH. All proceeds are going to MacMillian Cancer Support Nurses.
His Nibs is now You Tube proficient (more than I am) and showing off, U-tubing away before his concert. He’s busy posting his bits for his lovelies but only “from the left”. Our George obviously has “Right issues”. Can’t say as I blame him! Funny though how his clip from Wild Is The Wind is indeed filmed from his left side! He’s impressed with the “budding video directors” at his concerts and wants to share his best tour performances. He also wants some input to help choose what should go on the album. You know the one the Spanish press said is already out! He said himself on stage in Rotterdam, “You have to do what Twitter tells you to do, so thumbs up for Twitter”. Praise indeed! There are very few that can tell our George what to do but then when left to his own devices ( I said DEvices not vices… this is going to be a long night!) he can come up with some really lovely ideas on his own just like Symphonica.
His Naughty Nibs has been doing a right royal huff routine and deliberately not speaking to anyone for the last couple of days to rest his voice before the concert. This is not his usual M O so his first performance in the RAH and his first of the tour on his home turf, obviously means a lot to him. “not speaking to anyone till tomorrow, resting my voice for the Royal Albert Hall wanna be perfect for my fellow Londoners”. Like the thoughtful Lovely I am, upon reading his tweet I immediately sent him a link for the Rude Hand Gestures of the World book. I wouldn’t want him stuck for alternative communication! So if there are any unexplained, non-musical hand gestures in the RAH it’s just His Nibs practising his foreign language skills.
The Dutch Twitter Team is in town and on duty. One of them is floating on air as His Nibs has posted one of her concert video uploads on his selection of best bits. Congratulations @Dutchieemy. In her words she’s “bouncing in England”!! Also bouncing but in the RAH are a few celebrities. Geri Haliwell and Pepsi & Shirley were spotted at the concert as was the newly fledged UK X Factor contestants, Craig Colton, Marcus Collins and Franki Cocozza.
“Lots of press here all contained in the entrance hall at Door 1” They were all looking for interviews. One picture was posted of himself havin a quick interview with @thewhitmore from MTV News. Inside in the auditorium the RAH is as impressive as any of Europe’s stately theatres, if just a tad understated. It’s bigger than the Prague State Opera House but not as opulent. It has tiered seating surrounding its front stalls and its intimate lighting gives it an unusually cosy Victorian warmth. This is reinforced by the Dickensian draped balcony boxes, so large they could hold whole families complete with kissing cousins. These balcony boxes are topped by more tiered rowed seating.
Finally there are even more majestic Corinthian pillared alcoves that touch the roof. I half expected to see the Phantom of the Opera appear in one of them! Talk about posh rafters! Stylistically it reminded me of a roofed version of the Roman Arena in Verona with its high arches topping off the seating area. “Everybody is standing around in the boxes. People in the gallery standing too, looking down on us”. “The place is buzzing. I love all the little curtains in the boxes so English”. She was one of the dedicated Dutch Twitter Team.
Most important though was the stage, resplendent with it’s see through red “Velvet” curtain, within touching distance of the front row, separated only by a rope, a fan’s paradise! The Orchestra take their positions behind the curtain and start to tune up. Michael Matejcik, Symphonica’s magical harpist, joins the other eleven principal instrumentalists and Steve Sidwell the conductor, after leaving the Czech orchestra behind in Rotterdam. He flew into London the day before, obeying the royal degree to join His Nibs in at the RAH.
“OOH, the curtain at the RAH casts some dramatic George Shadows. And a HUGE Cheer when they open-Bev” @GeorgeMOfficial. “Magical feeling, wow the stage is beautiful. His voice sounds very good rested”. “George is on. Never seen him live before. His voice is haunting. Have a feeling the concert will be something special”. “My Baby Just Cares For Me has a new graphic”. There is a “Nice new visual after Through. The word SYMPHONICA writ Large across the screen-Bev” (written in white block capitals it fills the entire width of the stage). TV cameras are leaving after the first two songs, (after his fast bit), now Idol”. It is George’s cover of Elton John’s song. He mentions that this is the first time (in a tour) that he sings Cowboys And Angels live.
The visuals that fill the massive Symphonica screen provide a gargantuan funnel of dazzling light colour and shape that seemingly engulfs George Michael as he sings. His voice fills the auditorium pristine and crystal clear and the orchestra is now replete and full bodied, enhanced by the natural acoustics reverberating every individual note. “They like Cowboys And Angles here In London. Someone from the Audience shouts ‘I love you George’! and George replies ‘I’ve missed that’!” True Faith “is for Comic Relief, its about addiction, which I know zero about” George quips. “Wow @GeorgeMichael his voice is filling the RAH. Its sounds warm and full. He looks relaxed”. Next George says, “This is written by an artist who happens to be gay as well. Rufus Wainright”…..You’re Gay George??? STOP THE PRESS, you lot have a new headline…AGAIN!!! Going To A Town has “one of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard”.
“George is less chatty tonight than the last couple of shows”, (Rotterdam) oh no Bev is their some hand gestures in the offing? “But he and the orchestra sound amazing-Bev”. Let Her Down Easy was “written by a fellow sufferer at Sony Music” explains George before singing his version. “You Have Been Loved” he simply says, “for my Mother and Anselmo”. It had “Brilliant Visuals”. Introducing Wild Is The Wind, George says he thought for a long time it was a Bowie original. Turns out it’s by Johnny Mathis!-Bev”. “Now onto Brother Can You Spare A Dime”, “Goosebumps at this one” and the then the interval.
They were already tweeting about the first half of the concert in the interval. “George Michael Symphonia is amazing thank you”. “George Michael the boy is back. U sound fabulous. Great first half. More of the same please”. I’m sure that will tickle the Dutch and Belgian press’ age retirement issues! I tackled the press in the Belgian & Dutch Twitterlight reviews that are due to be posted after the French Twitterlight review. Just as soon as my wee editor can find some space, he promises to put them up, ( I tend to say more than most!). In my defence they are on multiple concerts where a lot happened and of course I had to spill the beans!
I even applied for a job as chief twit reviewer for wee Leo @Leosmusic for the English leg of the George Michael tour in the Belgian review! Wee Leo doesn’t know he needs one yet! He might do now if he reads this….Hallo nice wee Leo!!!! But I’m wandering and the twenty minute interval’s nearly up! “Best ever concert I have been to. No one sings live as well as you. George never stop keep on crooning you are amazing”. Don’t go taking the hump Yur Nibness she meant “Crooner”, in the nicest possible way! Another Lovely tweeted, “Having a fantastic time at George Michael Symphonica. Stunning voice, immense stage presence”. “Amazing performance have been waiting for this day since schooldays”. Oops bang goes my GM brownie points with the last “Boy” quote.
Moving quickly on…. “I’m coming to see you tomorrow-can’t wait”. That reminds me Me’s coming to see you in Dublin on the 1st of November, Bet you CAN wait! Right shush now the lights are going down. “And we’re back for the 2nd half with Patience- Bev”. “Audience is not actually in their place yet! Ha ha”. George is back with a black T-shirt on underneath his jacket but unfortunately there are still no big screen projections of George or the members of the orchestra tonight as in other concerts.
“I don’t know if it’s because of the RAH but the orchestra sounds fuller and I hear more details in the songs”. Of course you do it’s the acoustics! “This is from the Patience album” said George introducing John & Elvis Are Dead, “I wrote it with my best friend, we’ve been best friends since I was six. He is here tonight with his Mum and Dad. Roxanne is next and he introduced it as having been “written by a friend of mine Sting in the late seventies. After this “George does Song To A Siren, swoon” tweeted a fan. “Once again the loudest cheers go to A Different Corner”. “George says that the next 4 or 5 songs starting with Where I Hope You Are, reflect his feelings about his relationship/break up with Kenny” (Goss). “I realised the other day that the next 4, 5 songs are all about the end of my relationship”. “and the reaction from the audience, ‘OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!’”. “Told you it was a break up cycle, didn’t I?-Bev”. Yes you did honey, several times!
“This song You’ve Changed, changed my life forever”, George explained. “@GMSingers in the fast bit of Kissing A Fool sounded fabulous!”. “Love Is A Losing Game, properly heart wrenching”. “People were clapping along with Russian Roulette”. “How did we get to Praying For Time already?-Bev”. The reply came, “Bev woke up” from the Dutch fan club @GeorgeMichaelNews. “Hush you” said Bev back. “Don’t let them tease you Bev. Your doing a great job LOL. #wakemeupbeforeyougogo”, responded another fan. Bev replied, its “nice to see SOME people appreciate me LOL”.
There was a “standing ovation for Praying For Time. The crowd took forever to get going” and “Feeling Good was terrific”. “London massive applause as George returns to the stage for band introductions and encore medley-Bev”, after Feeling Good. “Bedlam before the encore: George is loving it”. “George jokes again about it being a low budget tour”. “And we have some Gospel again. Love looking around and seeing the people clapping and singing along to the Gospel bit @GMSingers-Bev”. The Gospel bit started as a warm up for the encore and first appeared on stage a few concerts ago in Germany. Twitter raved so much about it George decided to keep it in and now it’s a firm favourite. George Michael definitely does Jesus but as he says himself in a more fun and friendly way!!! You are very naughty Peeps again!
“A thank you for the orchestra and for the first time they are standing up!” “He just sang ‘London I think Your Amazing”, followed by I’m Your Man and Freedom. “Our self proclaimed 12th Principal Michal (the harpist) is the only orchestra member raising his arms for Freedom (normally they all do it), experience is the key”. “Medley just finished, one big, big party. George looked very happy. Sound of crowd is just incredible now. I Remember You” and the ethereal harp solo by Michal continues as George Michael walks off with a grin nearly the full width of the stage. “@Symphonia, @GeorgeMOfficial @GeorgeMichael and the visual effects team….thanks for the smashing evening…see you in Manchester. “He’s a legend”. “George Michael was Fab. U. Lous!!” “I think he’s amazing!”
The First Royal Albert is done and dusted, Gold dust of course! Just three more to come, tomorrow, the 28th & 29th before he leaves for Dublin and my home turf on the 1st & 3rd of November. I’ve been with him on Twitter at every concert so far and I have enjoyed them all simply because they are full of wonderful music, breathtaking vocals, harmonies and instrumental solos, all served up with humour and affection. Each one has been as unpredictable as George Michael himself. The only constant has been the quality and dedication to perfectionism. Me’s happy!
My thanks goes to the Twitter stalwarts that make this possible;-
@GeorgeMichael, @GeorgeMOfficial, @GMSingers, @GeorgeMichaelNL, @Dutchieemy, @Dutch_ada & @Luuk2007.
And the new Lovelies that have joined the ranks for the Royal Albert Hall experience;-
@Tinapreciousbox, @anupmurali, @NikkiLewis, @benlowemedia, ‘RacheVMartin, @JennyHodge, @JAMESINREHAB, @AliQuack, @Nefer7yri, @Dave_Hawley,@Mrss74, @GMSym, @Kyle-pascoe, @Gypsy1973, @hehusho, @Alex4373, @QxMagazine, @Betaletta, @trixyg, @julianStockton, @AmyBrookbanks, @StellaD79, @Rosie_Nixon,@Gmer4Ever, @AngleinaStar, @Poopprince, @Lisa_snowdon, @nikkilewis & @KHitsChigago