The British pop icon kicked off his “25 Live” European tour, which will touch down in 28 cities before December 15, with a concert Saturday night that may well have been subtitled “the best of George Michael.”
With no new album to promote, the concert indulged an audience of mostly long-time fans with favorites like Faith, Father Figure and Too Funky, while also including newer hits.
The only envelope-pushing moment of the show came at the end of the first set, when Michael sang his 2002 controversial anti-Bush song Shoot the Dog.
During the song, an enormous balloon depicting a cartoon-ish George W. Bush rose out of center stage, drawing whoops and yells from the crowd.
But the real surprise came when Michael leaned down to unzip the balloon’s trousers, and out popped a British bulldog draped with the UK flag. The dog was stuck to the balloon’s inflated crotch, wagging its tail.