Sunday, August 05, 2007

G for George M for Magic

I’ve been to quite a few concerts my whole life, seen a lot of my favorite singers, a lot of beautiful acts, great artists, and yet I thought I’ve more or less lived it all.. this, until very recently.. when I got to see the man himself.. George Michael.

George.. a man who’s songs I’ve linked my childhood to, grew up with, matured with, danced with, felt with..
Whether I go back to the 80’s when I was little or all the way up to the present day, I’ll always find a song of his that has touched me in one way or another. The voice, the lyrics, the music, the feeling .. I’m not sure what the elements are, but I do know this.. George has managed to remain as one of my favorite and most respected artists ever. A living legend.

It was a little before 10 pm and the lights in the OAKA Athens Olympic Stadium dimmed. Just a single note of the electric guitar was enough to make the crowd go completely mad and yet only a prelude to what was about to follow. “Did I dream you dreamed about me..”.. and the goose bumps begin while he opens with a beautiful rendition of Tim Buckley’s “song to the siren”, a lyrical masterpiece inspired by Homer’s Odyssey.

“Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you here when I was full sail?
Now my foolish boat is leaning, broken love lost on your rocks.
Hear me sing: "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you."
"Here I am. Here I am, waiting to hold you."
I'm as puzzled as a newborn child.
I'm as riddled as the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or shall I lie with death my bride?
Hear me sing: "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you."
"Here I am. Here I am, waiting to hold you."

Mesmerized and completely carried away, to say the least, as I cannot find better words to describe it.
While the thousands of people cheering didn’t leave any space for silence, he makes his first appearance on the stage (which as I should mention was located directly in front of us).. it is at that moment that I actually realized how the sacrifice of coming early to a concert to be on the front row had finally paid off.

Full of energy and charisma, a magnetic George begins the show with his up-tempo songs that have literally left no one standing still. An electrifying atmosphere prevails throughout the stadium with people singing accurately to every single lyric, dancing and even crying at times.

“Thank you for the 25 years” he says in Greek, in a generous yet modest approach of honoring his Greek roots. Little did he know, and much to his surprise, the Greek crowd didn’t leave this go unnoticed. “Giorgo, giorgo, giorgo” we shouted in reply, leaving him somewhat speechless and touched as he acknowledged that it was the first time in his whole life that a crowd had actually called him by his real name.
And then came the ballads, yes, the long awaited ballads, the ones that lifted us, that traveled us that touched us. Sounding better than ever, nothing less than a cd playing, George’s soulful voice carried us off our feet. “Please give us time” he sings in “Praying for time”, and we agree as we just couldn’t get enough of him. “Harry, I think I’m going to cry” says a girl to her boyfriend which is standing right beside me. And who can blame her really? The night was pure magic and the feelings were sometimes too strong to handle.

It’s fascinating how a man can really seize the whole stage, not to mention the whole stadium and do a 1-man-show / tour-de-force all on his own. A true artist and a professional performer yet he still manages to humbly approach us in an up-close-and-personal way.

There were many memorable moments throughout the show and it would take forever to mention them all, so I’ll just stick to the finale. Having sang his lost song, the crowd begs for the expected encore “Giorgo, Giorgo, Giorgo” we shout until he comes back on stage, but this time with a surprise for us. He carries the Greek flag on his back, making the stadium tremble from excitement in yet another approach to his roots and a “thank you” to his faithful crowd.

If there was one negative thing that I’d have to find to say, that would probably be that even after 2 hours of music, George has definitely left us wanting more.

Thank you for the magic George, thank you for sharing it with us.

PS: I have tried to publish a few of my personal videos with youtube but it seems that some files were too large for them therefore I gave it a try with videoegg as well. Hope it works for all you. Enjoy!

A short recap..

Ok so here we go again. Having had my ups and downs these last couple of months, I’ve decided to take a short break from blogging because the last thing I needed was a bunch of gloomy posts on this blog. I mean we all have our moments and we all know that they go away at some time, given the appropriate patience and time of course…

Well, things have been looking much better these last few weeks, and so I’ve decided to come back and try to fill in all those positive moments I’ve missed out on, which in my opinion may be worth mentioning to some.