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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Press views: George Michael
George Michael
The concert took place at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona
Thousands of fans looked on in Barcelona on Saturday as singer George Michael began his first tour for 15 years.

Dressed in black and sporting his trademark sunglasses and goatee, the 43-year-old performed a selection of hits that included Faith, Careless Whisper and the Wham! hit I'm Your Man.

At one point in the concert, the British star unveiled a 50ft inflatable puppet of President George Bush - the target of his controversial 2002 single Shoot the Dog.

Michael is due to perform in the UK in November and December. Here is what the UK press made of his comeback appearance.


When you have sold 85 million albums around the world, you can afford to do things your way.

The thing about taking a 15-year career break, however, is that no one quite knows what to expect when you return.

Would Michael play it kitsch, perhaps rattling through some of his cheesier early hits with Wham!? Or would he aim for the "housewives' favourite" market inhabited by some of his contemporaries?

The answer was somewhere between the two, the 43-year-old singing for more than two hours without a single faltering note.


Michael turns this 18,000-capacity arena into a giant disco when he's not delivering some killer ballads in his rich, emotive voice.

George Michael
Michael performed 22 songs in total before 18,000 fans
When the curtain drops to reveal the singer emerging from a giant cascading video screen, the audience gasps in wonder.

The fun quota literally hits the roof when a giant caricature of George Bush inflates from the middle of the screen during Shoot the Dog.

The second half doesn't quite reach the same heady heights, but it's obvious that Michael has reconnected with his audience.


While absence makes the heart goes fonder, it does little to hone an artist's performing skills.

And while Michael was clearly relishing the occasion, it took a while for him to find his voice and for the production to find its feet.

The besetting problem, particularly during the first half of the show, was an excess of slow, maudlin ballads which cumulatively drained the show of its energy.

The pop landscape has changed in his absence, and at times he looked a bit creaky.


Michael proved he is simply one of the best vocalists this country has ever produced with a stunning performance of hits from his giant back catalogue.

George Michael
The show featured a "giant cascading video screen"
He arrived at the Palau Sant Jordi to the kind of reception reserved for megastars, and he didn't let anyone down.

Classics including Freedom, Faith and encore Careless Whisper sounded as fresh as they did first time round.

Flawless sounded amazing, and his ballads were played to silence from a crowd eating from the palm of his hand.

Keeping the faith in George Michael
22 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
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26 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
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04 May 06 |  Entertainment
Michael's tour close to sell-out
24 Apr 06 |  Entertainment


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