FAITH George Michael: The Legacy – Wayne Dilks
Star Rating: *****
Venue: Beck Theatre
Review Date: 31st August 2017
Cos you gotta have faith, faith, faith. So sang George Michael in his pomp and so too did top tribute artist Wayne Dilks during his legacy tour concert. At a packed Beck Theatre he belted out these very same lyrics in a memorable tribute to celebrate the life of the late pop superstar.
It was pretty clear to me that the audience of fans had a lot of faith in Wayne Dilks to deliver. They certainly didn’t have to be asked twice to get up and dance and sing along. Who wouldn’t as the big hits rolled along seamlessly like cars on a production line, one after another, from ‘Amazing’ to ‘Let’s Go Outside’ to ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!’
This amazing show was filled not only with these well known and much loved get up onto your feet tracks, but also contained a good number of more reflective ballads like ‘Praying for Time’ and ‘A Different Corner’. These slower numbers allowed you to pay more attention to the carefully crafted lyrics and simply admire the music. Noting the age of the audience – average age seemed to be 40-50 something it was probably just as well there were plenty of sit down numbers!
Wayne Dilks struck just about the right balance here and worked well to engage the audience throughout with plenty of friendly chit chat, jokes and audience participation, urging the crowd to dance, wave their arms, sing along and repeat familiar sounding openings to songs e..g “Da da da da, da da da da daaaa, da da…” which hard core fans will recognise as the opening to ‘Amazing’.
This truly was an amazing show. A real spectacle in terms of its creative, bright and sparkling light and video show as backdrop to the singing and dancing. The backing singers and musicians were on song.
An unexpected and memorable highlight of the night came from Steve Booth and Bonnie. Who I hear you ask? Let me explain. Prior to one song Wayne invited a Steve Booth to join him on stage to sing his favourite George Michael song. OKAY. Steve comes bounding down the stage and greet Wayne with a big hug as if they know one another. Then he takes out a sheet of paper. Maybe it’s the lyrics, but I’m thinking if this is your favourite song why do you need the lyrics written down? Hmmm.
Anyway, he proceeds to deliver a speech. The moving speech conveys how much he’s loved Bonnie these past 11 years, how she’s been a real rock for him. His voice is clearly crackling with tremendous nerves and emotion. We feel his passion and trepidation. The audience quickly cottons on to what’s going on and starts to go wild. Camera phones come out. Raucous cheering and clapping ensues. Steve finishes with … you’ve guessed it .. a marriage proposal to his Bonnie!
By now Beck Theatre Ushers have come out armed with flowers and balloons for Bonnie. Steve’s Bonnie lass (pardon the pun lol) comes bounding down the steps onto the stage and gives him a great big hug. They warmly embrace. Sharing a “private” moment in front of 600 strangers takes some guts. The audience erupts and joy abounds. Wonderful. They go back to their seats.
Someone shouts out, “Did she say yes?” Good question, for in all the emotion and noise we didn’t actually hear the answer. Bonnie must have answered with a careless whisper that no one heard! Hushed silence. Wayne enquired and he gets the thumbs up. Phew!! Cue more applause.
Follow that Wayne! Tough ask as Bonnie and Steve threatened to totally eclipse the show but he did with a few more numbers before going into the interval.
The second half was full of more hit songs including, ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘Club Tropicana’, and ‘Careless Whisper’. What was so nice re this was not just the music and songs, but that it was educational at times and Wayne talked frequently talked normally to the audience with good humour. It was clear he was genuine fan too – 16 years doing this – and loved George Michael as much as the fans sitting in the theatre. We learned that Last Christmas was written in just 20 minutes! That George’s favourite WHAM! Song was ‘Everything She Wants’ and that ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ was last performed “live” by WHAM! in 1986. Great. It would also have been nice to have heard classics which George didn’t seem to play live too often such as ‘Last Christmas’ ‘Blue’ and ‘Credit Card Baby.’
All in all the Faith George Michael: The Legacy was a wonderful tribute. Great music, singing, video and spectacular light show. The fans showed the love, none more so than Bonnie and Steve! All the best to them in a night they and all present will never forget for obvious reasons.
© Review and Photos – Tiemo Talk of the Town
First photo courtesy of Wayne Dilks
The Faith: George Michael The Legacy Tour continues all over the UK right through to September 2018
Have you ever witnessed a live marriage proposal in public? If so, let us know your story via the comments section below. If you were at this show your comments would be welcome.
This was the third time in 5 years I’ve witnessed a marriage proposal mid-show. The last time was back in November 2013 at the Indigo o2, London, during a World Superstars of Comedy II show hosted by Richard Blackwood.
The first time was at a YolanDa Brown – April Showers, May Flowers show at the Hammersmith Apollo in February 2012.