This makes me feel old, but… 30 years ago my favourite band got together… and the rest, as they say, is history!
When Take That announced this tour, along with their Odyssey album of greatest hits, Gary Barlow was also quoted as saying this was the end of Take That Part 2 (though not the end like in 1995 when he said “Unfortunately, the rumours are true… From today Take That is no more!” when they split up and teenage fans went into meltdown!). This is the 7th Take That tour since Take That reformed in 2005. That’s pretty much a tour every two years (not including solo work), so I guess they’re due a break! So, when the tickets went on sale I couldn’t help myself. I bought tickets for a friend & I to see them at Manchester Arena (where I’d seen them live for the very first time all those years ago in 1995!) and then booked a ticket to see them in Birmingham a couple of weeks later.
Take That are currently in the middle of their Greatest Hits tour and it is fantastic! They always put on an amazing show and this one is no different. The set list for this tour follows the Odyssey album track listing.
It’s amazing how different a concert can be from different seats in the arena though. A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I sat in Block F towards the back of the arena floor in Manchester Arena (with a fantastic view of the ‘B’ stage) and the background imagery was amazing. This week I saw them at Arena Birmingham and was in Block C near the front. It wasn’t until after the show that I realised I hadn’t really noticed the background visuals and wider imagery this time around as I’d focused solely on the band. Take That always put on a proper show, but this time I really think the audience further back will have benefited more from the whole experience than those at the front. It was almost as if I’d seen two different shows, despite it essentially being the same one.
Always thinking of the best experience for the fans, Take That like to have a ‘B’ stage set-up so fans nearer the back can also get a closer view of them for part of the show. This year was no different. They run from the main stage down the side of the arena floor (so a lucky few fans get high fives and handshakes) to the ‘B’ stage roughly half-way through the show to sing a couple of songs. At Manchester we were lucky enough to be just a few rows in front of the ‘B’ stage, so had the best of both worlds.
With this being their 30th anniversary, Take That just had to have Lulu come along on tour to sing Relight My Fire with them. Yes, at the age of 70 Lulu is keeping up with them on stage! They also included former members Robbie Williams (with a pre-recorded video of him singing part of Everything Changes) and Jason Orange (with old footage of him).
I had a thoroughly amazing time at both shows, but this isn’t the end of the tour for me. Oh no! They’re broadcasting their Cardiff Principality Stadium concert live in cinemas around the world on 8th June and I have tickets to see it at my local cinema! I can’t wait!
On a side note: Take That’s support act this year is Rick Astley and he’s brilliant at getting the crowd going. I’ll definitely be looking out for tickets to his own tour when he next does one.