I'd been Waiting for That Day for a long time, as you well know. Tuesday was a Hard Day to get through but in the evening my Mother's Pride and Father Figure came over to watch the girls, and we had the Freedom to go to the George Michael concert!
After we'd been Waiting 45 minutes, the dark stadium lit with sparks floating dreamily down the digital screen. A soaring rendition of Waiting (reprise), being sung from back stage, froze me in my seat until at the end and climax, when a door opened in the middle of the screen, and George himself walked through just in time for the final line: "HERE I AM!" (If you are unfamiliar with this song, listen on the sidebar to get a feel for what it was like.)
Screams, applause, lit cell phone screens being waved in lieu of lighters (it's been a loooong time since I went to a concert.) The slightly aged and much gay audience gave the sexy superstar a resounding welcome, letting him know, "You Have Been Loved," for 25 years. He asked To Be Forgiven for taking 20 years to return to Washington, but promised that by the end of Tonight he'd make it up to us. I'd say he did.
An eclectic set of disco, soul, pop and ballads filled the evening. I was up and dancing Freestyle as much As I was comfortable doing until about song 5 or 6 when he broke into a seriously booty-shaking Everything She Wants, complete with diamond-studded disco balls on the big screens and lots of audience singing - "SOMEBODY TELL ME, WHY I WORK SO HARD FOR YOU!" (To give you money, woo, to give you money...) That's when I, and much of the rest of the crowd save Ed and the other husband/boyfriend I was sitting by that had obviously been drug there by his female, let loose in a serious way.
George, his 6 black-clad back-up singers, and huge band stacked vertically on platforms, played for an hour, took a 20-minute break, during which Ed was so hot in his work clothes he had to go Outside, then played another hour. Our seats were decent, though not close enough for a good camera phone picture. However, we'd dug out and brought Ed's elk hunting nocs so I was able to sit on George's lap for some of the songs. A couple of his dance songs were a little Too Funky (and a little too gay) for my taste but I love his voice so much I'm not complaining. Perhaps the highlight of the evening for me was a gorgeous version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, sung simply from a stool on stage in purple and white spotlights.
I knew it could hardly get any better when he came out dancing in a police uniform, complete with aviator shades and fingerless leather gloves, so I was hardly surprised when he bid us goodnight after that number. More screaming, more lit cell phone screens being waved for an encore, just One More Try. He came out and sang Careless Whisper for us. More screaming, more cell phones. Waiting. Waiting. Finally he returned to grant us A Last Request. He asked, "If you could have your pick of any song you want to hear, what would it be?" Thousands of voices answered in unison: FREEDOM! Obviously every American crowd had said the same thing and he was well-prepared. What an Amazing song to round out the concert! Most of our row had left so I had 10 seats to make my moves in, with Ed conservatively clapping the beat nearby. Animated rainbows dancing all over the screens. Happy, energized, beer-buzzed people dancing like crazy. It was a night to remember. He Healed the Pain, he Knew I Was Waiting for Him, and I was glad he spent A Moment with Me.
After the final finale we had to hustle home, Praying for Time to get our car out of the garage in Rosslyn before it closed at midnight. The night can be summed up by a comment I overheard a twenty-something tell her friend as we walked out of the stadium: "He is so hot...and he's old."
Ladies and gents, he's still got it. And so have I.