Will you go?

25 Live reasons for George Michael to tour
A swarming paparazzi presence coupled with a nasty legal spat with Sony Music nearly scared him away for good, but George Michael hasn’t completely lost his faith in America. This summer, the British bad boy returns for his first U.S. tour in 17 years.
After performing more than 80 shows in Europe, Michael kicks off the U.S. leg of his 25 Live tour in San Diego on June 17 before heading to 19 other cities. The arena tour will showcase songs from his album Twenty-Five, out April 1 and featuring duets with Mary J. Blige and Paul McCartney.
Why return now? Michael, 44, calls it a “rounding off” of his career’s first phase. “I don’t want to do anything on this scale again,” he says. “No more stadiums. I’d like to be the Tony Bennett for my generation.”
Disturbed by the increasing trend of downloadable music rendering CDs obsolete and talent shows such as American Idol taking the passion out of pop music, Michael says, “it’s the end of a certain era, and I’m not sure how much I really want to be a part of what’s next. So, it’s a kind of a way of saying thank you to everybody before I move on.”
But this is not a farewell tour for the Grammy winner who shot to stardom in the ’80s with the band Wham! and crashed when he was arrested for lewd conduct in a Beverly Hills public bathroom in 1998.
Hoping to release more music in the future, Michael suspects he will offer it up to fans gratis to allow for artistic freedom. “There are other ways I can express the things I want to. And pop music stopped being a place to express much lyrically awhile back.”
On Thursday, he plays himself in his first major U.S. acting role in ABC’s Eli Stone (10 p.m. ET/PT), a series in which he has appeared in brief cameos.
He also is developing British TV programs and has received an advance from HarperCollins to write an autobiography, in which he would discuss the depression he suffered in the ’90s.
Critical of his own work, Michael believes his U.K. tour was “too much of a party to represent what I’ve done.”
That means hits Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go) and I Want Your Sex are out. “I’m too old,” he says. “But they’ll get Careless Whisper, which I don’t particularly enjoy singing.”
As he prepares to head stateside, “there are some improvements I can really make to the show. If I have anything to do with it, they’re going to see the best show of their lives.”
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday exclusively via an iTunes package. Tour tickets will be available elsewhere beginning the weekend of April 5.
Here are the tour’s dates and stops:
June 17: San Diego/San Diego Sports Arena
June 19: San Jose, Calif./HP Pavilion
June 21: Las Vegas/MGM Grand
June 22: Phoenix/US Airways Center
June 25: Los Angeles/Great Western Forum
July 2: Seattle/Key Arena
July 4: Vancouver/General Motors Place
July 7: St. Paul/Xcel Energy Center
July 9: Chicago/United Center
July 13: Dallas/American Airlines Center
July 14: Houston/Toyota Center
July 17: Toronto/Air Canada Centre
July 18: Montreal/Bell Centre
July 21 and 23: New York/Madison Square Garden
July 26: Philadelphia/Wachovia Center
July 27: Boston/TD Banknorth Garden
July 29: Washington, D.C./Verizon Center
July 31: Atlanta/Philips Arena
Aug. 2: Tampa/St. Pete Times Forum
Aug. 3: Sunrise, Fla./Bank Atlantic Center