The Final (concert)

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The Final
Concert by Wham!
LocationWembley, London, England
VenueWembley Stadium
Associated albumsThe Final, Music from the Edge of Heaven
Date(s)28 June 1986; 32 years ago (1986-06-28)
Durationsix hours[1]
No. of shows1
GuestsElton John, Simon Le Bon
Attendance72,000
Wham! concert chronology
George Michael concert chronology
Whamamerica!
(1985)
The Final
(1986)
The Faith Tour
(1988-89)

The Final was the farewell concert by English musical duo Wham!. It was held at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 28 June 1986.[2][3] A total of 72,000 people attended the event, which included support artists and special guests, such as Elton John.[4]

Background[edit]

Wham! had announced the breakup in 1986.[5] During late February Michael was a guest on the talk show Aspel & Company, he announced that Wham! were to break-up and were to perform one last show.[6][7]

During production rehearsals for the Wembley concert, Wham! performed two warm-up shows in aid of Capital radio’s “Help a London Child” charity on the 23rd and 24 June at the Brixton Academy in London.[8][9]

Synopsis[edit]

Wembley Stadium, the venue for the show.

The first ever public viewing of the Wham! in China: Foreign Skies documentary film was shown on large screens on either side of the stage.[10][11] This set a record for the largest audience at a film premiere.[12]

Ticket for the concert.

At 7.35pm an eight-minute introduction to "Everything She Wants" began from behind a huge black curtain which had "The Final" on it in huge white letters. It opened to reveal Michael - dressed in leather, black jeans, wearing sunglasses and danced in sync with two other dancers. Ridgeley, Shirley and Pepsi came to the stage. Ridgeley took off his black coat and strolled up the walkways and took off his black gloves. "Club Tropicana" followed. This is the best thing I've ever looked at". Michael expressed, "We've got four years of thank-yous to say this evening... and I know we're going to enjoy saying them. So let's get started!".[13] "Heartbeat" and "Battlestations" was performed.[14]

Afterwards, it was "Bad Boys", Pepsi and Shirlie made a brief appearance wearing bouffant wigs; included was "If You Were There". A large white piano was wheeled on stage, Elton John was dressed in Ronald McDonald make-up and costume, a shiny red wig, a red nose, a stripey red t-shirt and yellow dungarees.[15] Guitarist David Austin joined and "The Edge of Heaven" begins. Michael split the audience into three groups, with each group to sing a section. They performed John’s 1973 hit "Candle In The Wind".[16][17] "Credit Card Baby", "Like A Baby", "Love Machine", "Where Did Your Heart Go?" had followed in quick succession.

There was a pause before a cover of Carly Simon’s "Why" is performed.[18] Wham! began their single "Last Christmas". Michael got the audience to do the "Wave" and everyone showed the orange side of their programmes. It transferred into "Wham! Rap".[19] After the ballad "A Different Corner" and "Freedom" ended, they disappeared for a short while and came back for "Careless Whisper" and "Young Guns". Michael ran around the stage performing "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". The band comes back to do the encore, their last song, "I'm Your Man". They were alone on stage. Michael took off his black jacket, while Ridgeley was in suede with denim flies. Elton John again joined in a pink mohican.[20] Simon Le Bon (of Duran Duran) made a surprise entrance on stage.[21] Wham! embraced, the moment captured on the large screens.[22][23]

Opening acts[edit]

Set list[edit]

  1. "Everything She Wants"
  2. "Club Tropicana"
  3. "Heartbeat"
  4. "Battlestations"
  5. "Bad Boys"
  6. "If You Were There"
  7. "The Edge of Heaven"
  8. "Candle in the Wind" (ft. Elton John)
  9. "Credit Card Baby"
  10. "Like A Baby"
  11. "Love Machine"
  12. "Where Did Your Heart Go?"
  13. "Why"
  14. "Last Christmas"
  15. "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)"
  16. "A Different Corner"
  17. "Freedom"
  18. "Careless Whisper"
  19. "Young Guns (Go For It)"
  20. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Encore

21. "I'm Your Man" (ft. Elton John / Simon Le Bon)

Date[edit]

Date City Country Venue Attendance Tickets
Sat 28 June 1986 London England Wembley Stadium 72,000 £13.50

Source:[26]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard - George & Andrew’s Final Wham! Jam, 7 Jun 1986
  2. ^ Billboard - George & Andrew’s Final Wham! Jam, 7 Jun 1986
  3. ^ The Encyclopedia of Popular Music - By Colin Larkin
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of Popular Music - By Colin Larkin
  5. ^ Wham! Goes Boom! As George Michael Dumps His Bitter Half, Andrew Ridgeley - BY PEOPLE STAFFPOSTED ON MARCH 10, 1986
  6. ^ Internet Movie Database: Aspel & Company - George Michael - Episode 3.8 (1 Mar. 1986)
  7. ^ George Michael: The biography - By Rob Jovanovic
  8. ^ Live At the Brixton Academy: A riotous life in the music business - By JS Rafaeli, Simon Parkes
  9. ^ Review special - Wham! The last week « Smash Hits, July 02–15, 1986
  10. ^ Number One Magazine (5 July 1986; P.24)
  11. ^ How Wham! made Lindsay Anderson see red in China - By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent
  12. ^ How Wham! made Lindsay Anderson see red in China - By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent
  13. ^ Smash Hits magazine, Review special - 2–15 July 1986
  14. ^ Smash Hits magazine, Review special - 2–15 July 1986
  15. ^ In Honour of George Michael (1963-2016) - DECEMBER 30, 2016
  16. ^ In Honour of George Michael (1963-2016) - DECEMBER 30, 2016
  17. ^ Smash Hits magazine, Review special - 2–15 July 1986
  18. ^ Number One Magazine (5 July 1986; P.24)
  19. ^ Smash Hits magazine, Review special - 2–15 July 1986
  20. ^ In Honour of George Michael (1963-2016) - DECEMBER 30, 2016
  21. ^ Number One Magazine (5 July 1986; P.25)
  22. ^ Pop Stars in My Pantry: A Memoir of Pop Mags and Clubbing in the 1980s - By Paul Simper
  23. ^ Smash Hits magazine, Review special - 2–15 July 1986
  24. ^ Number One Magazine (5 July 1986; P.24)
  25. ^ Number One Magazine (5 July 1986; P.24)
  26. ^ Live Shows - Various appearances 28 June 1986 Wembley Stadium