He's still got it! And in my eyes he never lost it. He may have put it on hold, other musicians were discovered and other musicians disappeared, while he took a step out of the limelight, with a few personal hick ups along the way. But in my life he was never far away from my CD player and any musical discussions (as friends, blogger friends, family and colleagues know only too well).
I have been lucky enough to see him perform three times in the last two years, after several, long years, of concert absence and the world questioning if he would ever tour again. But I never gave up hope of seeing him shaking those hips and singing those familiar words on the stage once more.
And Sunday night, my dreams and my prayers were answered, as I joined thousands of fans at Earls Court to see and hear George Michael entertain us.
My cousins and my friend Vikki are just as bonkers about George as I am, and we impatiently sat in our seats, clutching cameras, mobile phones and sweets, checking the stage every two minutes, willing him to appear.
He was nearly forty five minutes late. Finally, at last, the lights dimmed, the stage light up, and Georges voice could be heard above the screams. 'Waiting For The Day' was his first song of the evening.
"Good Evening London. It's good to be home," were his very words after his opening song, before he launched into 'Fast Love' and I think every single person in the venue stood up, arms waving and legs dancing. I could hardly contain my excitement.
For the next two hours with a,"Back in a thirty minutes," thirty minute break, hit after hit was belted out, in perfect pitch, with slick stage graphics to compliment. I managed to exhaust my voice, hands, arms and legs with my enthusiasm.
My personal favourites were played, 'I'm Your Man' and 'Everything She Wants' and many, many, songs that have stretched over the past twenty five years. He even played a cover version of 'Feeling Good' which will apparently be free to download on Christmas Day, and he gave us first hand, inside information, that a new single will be released this December. (It's going to be a good Christmas.)
The final part of the concert slowed down with the classic 'Careless Whisper'. The audience swayed and sang along, and I couldn't help thinking what an enormous buzz it must be to sit down and write meaningful lyrics one day, and then another day to hear thousands of people eagerly recite the words back to you. At one point, while he was taking a deep breath, composing himself for his next line, the audience still and hanging onto the electrifying atmosphere, someone shouted out, "I love you George!" No, it wasn't me. Honest!
I think it would be safe to say the night was a phenomenal success. George did not disappoint. His voice was outstanding, his energy and charisma were captivating.
I left Earls Court with a sore throat, ears ringing, palms stinging and legs aching. But it was worth every single second and I would do it all again. And again. And again. And again.
Pictures of the day:
Sunday 24th August 2008.
I'm trying to upload a video but it doesn't seem to be working. Any tips anyone?