Friday, December 5, 2008

George Michael in Abu Dhabi


Ok, its been over a month since I have blogged..sorry for that. I guess its been busy. Also, Erin was sick, I was wrapping up a project, etc, etc..mostly its just sleeplessness with a sick baby who is now teething so even more sleeplessness.

On Dec 2nd - or was that Dec 1st? See, I can't even recall! Regardless, we ventured out to Abu Dhabi to see George Michael and Alicia Keys. It was a fantastic concert. I think this was my third time to see GM and as always, he delivers. He has a beautiful voice that holds its own. I was most excited about this b/c my husband and I seriously considered to fly to London to see him as this is supposed to be his last concert tour ever b/c he has retired..we'll see - they all come back after retirement. I hope he does!

It was held at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi - I heard that 30,000 people showed up. I'd say more than half made the hour and a half drive from Dubai! We rented a small bus with some friends while many stayed the night in AD. It was a wise move b/c we didn't arrive home until 3:30am. Well worth it.

We arrived just as Alicia Keys was on stage - seems she started on time - never expected that. I missed most of her performance b/c I was in the awfully organized drink line. I wouldn't have bothered, but I expected it to be more organized and didn't eat dinner, so I at least needed some water! It was an awful experience. Royal Catering Company is a royal mess..this is often the case for most events in Dubai. Most companies service is not always quite up to par for large scale events and there are always issues. I always say service is one of Dubai's weakest links b/c its just all over the place. I'm sure they will work it out eventually, but it does waste a lot of our time and sometimes patience. If its in a large scale event like this, I've just resorted to throwing my hands up in the air and observing everyone's behavior.

Anyway, as someone in 7Days, the local free paper here, said, "George more than made up for it". There weren't too many Wham! songs, which was okay for me..I love it all. He could probably get out there and sing "Old McDonald" and it would sound amazing. Its been almost a week and I'm still walking around humming George tunes...da da da..da da da... or singing them to Erin. I found "Songs from the Last Century" work really well to put him to sleep. - Now I don't have visions of grandeur about my voice - we are listening to those :) ..If only I could sing half that good to do a Roberta Flack cover!..which by the way was beautiful live.

Kylie Minogue was just recently in town and some of the people on our bus were comparing the two concerts b/c it was still fresh on the mind. Well, of course there is no comparison b/c George is a much better singer and performer. Kylie is about show and creating a fantasy kind of image - which is probably why she was invited to perform at the Atlantis hotel opening. We went b/c Sarper wanted to go. She was ok, but it was a lot of lights and effects. I think it would have been a lot more fun in a city with a large gay male population. She has a lot of followers who are gay, and some of the show was obviously geared toward that. It was a fun time, but didn't leave me inspired.

I digress..back to George. I loved the opening with "Here I am"...you only heard the voice and then at the end, suddenly his silloute suddenly appeared as he walked on stage. He had a large, I don't know how many piece band with six back up singers that were a great compliment. He sang a lot of great songs like "Star People", "Amazing", "Flawless", "Faith", "Outside" (complete with police shirt) "Cowboys and Angels" - which I think he got lost in..was in the second verse and thought he was at the first..but hey, when you sing a song thousands of times you must just go on autopilot and forget. I think I saw Elton John do this once also. Its always an interesting thing to see b/c here are these people that some the general population holds on such high pedistools and its nice to be reminded that they are human like us.

There were a few Wham! tunes like "Careless Whisper" which is just a huge sing along- not one of my personal faves, but what a rush when you do not have to sing a song and just listen to the masses sing it for you. "Everthing she wants" is one of my all time favorites from the Wham! days..it never sounds dated to me. There was no "I want your sex", which makes me wonder if he wasn't in Abu Dhabi, would he have sung it? It was such a big deal for him back then and so controversial at the time.

There was a very nice moment before a slow set where he thanked the fans for sticking with him over the last 25 years, and in his words "even though it hasn't always been easy". I assume he was referring to his very public arrests for indecency and drugs. I could personally care less about these and I think most true fans would feel the same. When he made that remark there was a lot of noise from the crowd, but I didn't feel like it was a "ya, you are right", but more like a "how could we not love ya!" kind of noise. Its all about the music and we love you just the same.

25 years is a long time and a lot of music. People often have music that is tied to memories in their life. And I'm sure for a lot of people there are a lot of Wham! or George songs that you associate with some memory. I know I do - there are many. So I think for many the thank you is back at ya George. Thanks for making songs that we enjoyed listening to, and that we will continue to enjoy for the years to come. Even though you've retired, we will always look at the possibility for you to come back. Now, I'm off to find out when I can download that new free Christmas song of yours...

1 comment:

jenny said...

Thank you for sending me your link again! I really enjoyed reading about the concert. I would love to seen him again. I listen to him a lot when I have my Monchof(German Rieseling) and sew. Fun stuff! I really like the songs Shoot the Dog, Killer and Waiting for that Day. Oh and I can't help but really like the very 80's I Knew You Were Waiting.
Actually there are very few I don't like! I look forward to looking at the pictures. I have been inundated with Junior League, Homeroom Mom, Mommy responsibilities so I am not current on my email reading. I have just been skimming. Take Care!