Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wake me up before you go go

Tonight was the big night to go see George Michael with Gay Hubby in all of George's retro tour glory.

Here are 5 great things about the concert:
1) George sounded phenomenal. His pipes sound just as good as they did in the 80's!

2) The stage was quite fantastic. It was a giant LCD screen that he and his back up singers danced on, and there were light shows and video that corresponded with the songs he was singing.

3) George still looks good - he rocked some fabulous drapey wide legged trousers, a hot pair of jeans, and then got dressed up in a cop uniform which was extra campy goodness.

4) Dude can still DANCE! Holy cow, he has got some serious moves. They aren't super acrobatic, but he can do a shimmy and a shake that can set the world on fire. Both Gay Hubby and I commented on it, and agreed that our friend Suneel has some similar moves to George.

5) His back up singers were fantastic, and he rolled credits on the big screen at the end of the concert to recognize his band and crew which I thought was pretty cool.

Here are 5 not so great things about the concert:
1) George's stamina is not what it used to be. He frequently resorted to the "stick the microphone into the crowd so they can sing this part and I can catch my breath" move. It got to the point that Gay Hubby said "I didn't pay to hear the crowd sing".

2) George seemed disappointed in us that we weren't chanting his name with a raucous enough passion. I think George is used to the rabid English Wembley stadium fans that screech, fight and rip apart stadium as a mass of 90,000. Here in MN, the crowd was smaller (probably 20,000), a little more reserved (mostly of Scandinavian descent), and well mannered (a midwestern quality that we all seem to possess).

3) George made us beg for encores. This drives me crazy. The artist knows how many encores they are willing to do - and know that they are going to do them. It seemed indulgent that he made us clap and hoot and holler for a good 5 minutes each time before he came out. I think George might not like George so much, and is suffering from low self esteem. George needs a hug.

4) George started late. Concert was supposed to start at 8 - there was no opening act, and it didn't start until 8:45. I R R I T A T I O N.

5) He wasn't sure the name of the city that he was in. He warmed up the crowd with "Hello Minneapolis" which isn't really right, as we were in St. Paul. After the intermission (yes, intermission - another indicator that George needed a rest) his handlers must have told him that he was in St. Paul, so he kept saying "Thank you St. Paul". Yes the Twin Cities is made up of both Minneapolis and St. Paul, but it felt a little like when my parents always call me by my sister's name. Yes, my sister and I are both daughters of our parents, but we do have different identities - much like Minneapolis and St. Paul. (I'm Minneapolis in this situation, my sister Shelly is St. Paul)

All in all, it was a fantastic evening - all thanks to GH Mike - he is truly the best!

I will rank this concert definitely in my top 8 concerts - possibly even in the top 5.

If you like rankings, check out the top 10 list on George Michael that was published recently in the San Francisco Chronicle at www.sfgate.com - just search for top 10 George Michael(thanks Joe Mcgann for the heads up!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Do you smell something?

Today was another day in flight for me. I flew up for a week long vacation in the delicious Twin Cities. Of course, the biggest trial and tribulation of traveling anywhere for me is getting through the Raleigh/Durham airport security without some sort of incident.

If you remember last time, I was accused by the security checkpoint officers of having an artificial hip and lying about it. This time I was assaulted, or should I say my senses were assaulted by a fellow passenger just trying to get through.

Traveling today was a group of teenage boys, all dressed up alike in some sort of soccer themed gear. They were kind of scruffy, kind of geeky, with messy hair and oily skin. As they worked their way through the security process, I was tucked into the last security checkpoint station with 4 of the kids.

As a person who has done a fair amount of traveling, I know what to expect, had my computer out of my bag, in a bin, shoes off (wearing shoes easy to get in and out of) and wearing clothes that don't look like I am hiding 4 Kilos of plastic explosives. The guys maybe didn't have as much experience as me, so I had to find my inner zen to be patient while watching then fumble about to try and get organized to put their things through the x ray machine.

I was just a few feet away from being able to place my laptop bin on the conveyor belt as scruffy soccer kid #4 was still getting his stuff on the belt. As I stood and waited patiently, something wafted up to my nose. I looked around to try and identify the offending odor. Was it me? Nope, just smelled perfume on me. Was it a rotten salami sandwich? Nope, no sandwich to be seen. I looked down and Scruffy #4 had taken his shoes off and they sat on the ground. I wondered - could it be his sneakers? Nothing that foul could be that strong - wafting all the way up to my nose (I was taller than usual too, wearing platform wedge sandals). Scruffy #4 bent down, picked up his shoes and put them on the conveyor belt just in front of me. The drifting aroma from his shoes just about knocked me on my ass.

As I waited for his stuff to go through - especially the shoes, my eyes begin to water, and I felt like I could taste what I was smelling. They finally got into the x ray chamber I hoped that the x rays zooming through his shoes were killing any of the micro-organisms that were waging war on my nasal passages.

As I followed him through the metal detector, I breathed through my mouth, hoping that it would all be over soon. Of course, he had some sort of metal device in his back pack that was suspicious (he said it was to remove the cleats on his soccer shoes) which then required a search of his bag. The poor security officer looked mortified that she had to go through the back pack (which had a pair of soccer shoes stuffed in the top) to identify the issue.

I hope she had a haz-mat suit to put on to dig through his bag. I ske-daddled as soon as I could because I didn't want to be around when the main zipper was unzipped.