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George Michael @ Wembley Stadium, June 9

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Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served live in front of 90,000 fans. George Michael, a man who moans incessantly about the media’s obsession with the less mainstream aspects of his lifestyle: his cruising, his doping, his inability to stay awake while steering his Range Rover from his Highgate home to a certain north London recreational space, asks the Wembley crowd to deliver a message to “all the b**tards” who’ve written lies about him over the last year. His fans oblige, offering a deafening chant of: ‘Kiss! My! Hairy! Greek! Arse!'

Whereas Michael seemed surprised by the warm reception he received on last year’s 25 Live arena tour – his first live dates in 15 years – he is very much aware of his superstar appeal tonight. The momentousness of the occasion – this is the first gig at the newly-rebuilt, ever-iconic Wembley Stadium - is reflected in the vigour of the former Wham! man’s performance. He is energetic, brimming with confidence and keen to banter with his fans: performing in the open air before dusk is frustrating, he tells us, because “everyone can see when I scratch my balls”.

Michael’s set flits between deceptively dark disco (‘Too Funky’, ‘Everything She Wants’, ‘Star People’) and tender, heartfelt balladry. ‘Praying For Time’, on which Michael is accompanied only by a piano, is particularly captivating, with Michael’s soulful, impassioned vocals bringing home the enduring relevance of the song’s world-weary lyrics. “Charity is a coat you wear twice a year,” he croons, and it’s hard not to apply the sentiment to the Live Earth concert that will take place at this enormodrome in a matter of weeks.

The buoyant atmosphere Michael maintains throughout the two-and-a-half hour concert is a testament to the depth and quality of his back catalogue. ‘Spinning The Wheel’ is as sexy and surprising as your first foray into masturbation; ‘Faith’ is pop nirvana set to a Bo Diddley beat and ‘Fastlove’ is quite possibly the only song about cruising whose every word can be joyously recited by white van men, thirtysomething estate agents and the All Bar One crowd alike. Even an ill-advised rendition of ‘Shoot The Dog’ – the anti-Bush song whose raging political statement never quite compensates for its lack of melody – is redeemed by Michael’s committed performance and note-perfect vocals.

As Michael offers encores of ‘Careless Whisper’ – a song that’s still as cheesy and satisfying as a slice of Welsh rarebit – and the anthemic ‘Freedom 90’, it becomes clear that we’re privy to something pretty special. We’re watching the last truly transcendent British pop star - one of the greatest vocalists the UK has ever produced – tearing the shiny steel rafters off Britain’s most iconic enormodrome. Only one question remains: who’s enjoyed the greater comeback this evening, George Michael or Wembley Stadium itself?

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