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July 22, 2008 6:25 PM

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The George Michael Faithful

George Michaelphoto by Stephen Lovekin/Getty ImagesFrom the Police to Yaz, this has been yet another summer of nostalgia for upwardly mobile Baby Boomer ticket holders. On Monday night, George Michael hit Madison Square Garden for the first of two shows....


George Michael
photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
From the Police to Yaz, this has been yet another summer of nostalgia for upwardly mobile Baby Boomer ticket holders.

On Monday night, George Michael hit Madison Square Garden for the first of two shows. The good seats were priced at $255 each, a sum that seems pretty excessive for an artist who doesn't put on a gigantic production a la Madonna and hasn't delivered a big hit album in the U.S. in more than 15 years.
Nevertheless, the place was near capacity, and the show Michael put on - which ran nearly three hours - was terrific. His voice has never sounded better, and the big hits from the late Eighties have endured remarkably well. Among the songs he performed were "Faith," "Freedom," "Too Funky," "Father Figure" and "Careless Whisper" though Michael also did at least a dozen lesser-known songs, finding ways throughout to reference his growing pains - from his battle with his record label to his brushes with the police.

In 1998, Michael pleaded "no contest" for engaging in a "lewd act" in a public restroom in California, which he alluded to afterward in a disco song called "Outside," publicly mocking the whole thing. He performed that number last night - as in the video - wearing a police uniform and aviator sunglasses, dancing around the stage as people cheered.

The crowd ranged in age from 30 to 50, and as Michael joked, included a lot of "boys" (i.e., gay men) and straight women who dragged their boyfriends. Michael actually apologized to them.

The fashion world was well represented. Hairdresser Sally Hershberger was sitting in the third row; Sam Shahid, the former art director of Interview, and Bruce Weber's longtime collaborator, was perched at the front of a long catwalk Michael used as his stage, and the Cinema Society's Andrew Saffir and his partner, Daniel Benedict, were nearby in the loge, as was Bruce Pask, the men's fashion director for T, The New York Times Style Magazine.

And though the ticket prices may keep some from pursuing a pair of tickets to Michael's second Garden show on Wednesday, there seem to be a lot of good deals on craigslist from brokers who failed to get rid of their tickets and are now selling at considerably below face value. This reporter, for the record, got his sixth-row seat from a scalper 10 minutes before the show started. The price was $120, less than half of the face value printed on the ticket. And it was well worth it.

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