Words by Simon Button
With so many spectacular tours on their CV, surely Take That must be running out of ideas, right? Wrong.
Constant re-inventors of the wheel that is the arena show, their Greatest Hits Live extravaganza is their most impressive yet.
Following the same tracklisting as their recent ‘Odyssey’ best-of, it features the trio of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen making good use of a giant rotating orb (which looks like it’s flown in from the deep space of Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’), a massive curved screen, motorbikes, trampolines, stairways and a satellite stage.
A feast for the eyes, it’s also a delight to the ears - delivering all the big hits from anthemic opener ‘Greatest Day’ to epic closer ‘Rule The World’.
Robbie Williams pops up on video for ‘Everything Changes’ and Lulu pops up in person for ‘Relight My Fire’ while a bunch of backing dancers and a choir add to the onstage tally.
At the centre of this exhilarating whirlwind are the lads themselves, as strong as a trio as they were as a post-Robbie foursome.
Gary’s dance moves are still a bit awkward, bless him, compared to the remarkably agile Howard and Mark’s but he gives it his best go and sings the hell out of such ballads as ‘A Million Love Songs’ and ‘Love Ain’t Here Any More’.
These quieter moments offer a much-needed rest amidst all the high-octane, high-energy numbers like ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ and ‘Shine’ - which are delivered with such panache you wonder if Barlow, 48, Donald, 51, and Owen, 47, are on something. They are: They’re high on adoration and the sheer joy of being on stage.
And the songs that bookend the show couldn’t be more apt. It’s the greatest day (or two hours at least) in Take That fans’ lives by a band who absolutely rule the world of live performing.
Take That tour the UK until June 8th, where their show at Cardiff Principality Stadium will also be broadcast live in cinemas. For more information visit takethat.com/livecinema. For great deals on tickets and shows click here.