On Saturday night (April 13), Take That performed at Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena for the second night of their Greatest Hits Tour which sees them celebrating 30 years in the business.
Warming up the stage for the band was 80’s pop icon Rick Astley, who delivered a crowd pleasing set made up of some of his classic songs and material from his two most recent albums, 50 and Beautiful Life. Tracks including ‘Together Forever’, ‘Try’ and ‘Keep Singing’ were big hits with the audience, whilst Rick also delivered a sensational cover of Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man’s ‘Giant’, which suited his powerful voice perfectly.
However, the biggest applause was reserved for Rick’s gargantuan hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, which saw the entire arena up on their feet dancing. Joined by his incredible band and backing singers, Rick proved to be a fantastic opening act. With a lengthy set of foot-stomping hits, great banter, and high levels of energy, he more than prepared the crowd for the spectacle which awaited them.
SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Following a short interval, and amidst the audience taking part in a giant Mexican wave, the enormous orb on stage came to life. Soundbites of the band echoed across the arena as words and lights were displayed on the orb, all building up to the moment when we’d get the first glimpse of Take That.
Opening with fan favourite ‘Greatest Day’, the orb rotated to form the band logo used in their Odyssey promotion, with Gary, Howard and Mark emerging to a roaring crowd. From that moment on, Take That delivered a thrilling two-hour experience which captured their phenomenal journey through the years.
Recent songs including ‘These Days’ sat proudly amongst Take That’s most classic releases such as ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ and ‘Could It Be Magic’, with the audience lapping up each and every song. The band paid tribute to their former members Jason Orange and Robbie Williams through video interludes, allowing them to be a part of this current journey.
Performing hit after hit from their 30 year career, Take That’s setlist followed their Greatest Hits album Odyssey in full and in order. We would have liked a medley of some of their great songs which didn’t make the album cut (i.e. ‘Hold Up A Light’, ‘The Garden’, ‘Kidz’). However, with such an enormous discography to choose from it’s easy to see why Take That decided to remain faithful to the Greatest Hits tracklist, particularly as the album itself encapsulates their journey so well.
Alongside their most well-known songs, Take That also performed the three new tracks which feature on Odyssey: ‘Out Of Our Heads’, ‘Spin’, and ‘Everlasting’, with each track putting the spotlight on Gary, Howard and Mark’s vocals respectively. ‘Out Of Our Heads’ included a thrilling drum breakdown from the band, whilst their incredible friendship was put on display during ‘Everlasting’. However, ‘Spin’ gave us one of the most memorable moments of the evening, as the three members mounted motorbikes and were joined by female dancers for a countryesque vibe.
Whilst most of the action played out on the main stage, Take That did venture to the back of the arena for a short spell on the B-stage. Running through the crowd during an energetic rendition of ‘Cry’, the trio delivered a beautiful performance of ‘Said It All’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ on the small stage whist being covered in ticker tape. They also took the time to thank their loyal Thatters for all their support over the years.
Back on the main stage, Take That continued to roll out the hits including ‘Patience’, ‘The Flood’, and ‘Back For Good’, before delivering Vegas vibes during ‘Shine’. Joined by the dancers, who were dressed like showgirls wearing what looked like light-up peacock tails, the performance was visually stunning and was everything we’ve ever envisioned a Take That in Vegas show to look like (we’re still holding on to the thought that one day they’ll treat us to a residency).
Something which is forever magical at a Take That concert is the crowd participation – that being, every audience member knowing exactly what to do with their hands during certain songs whether they’ve previously been to a gig or not. ‘Never Forget’ is the most prominent, with everyone in the arena raising their arms in the air during the euphoric chorus, and Sheffield was no different. Joined by a beautiful gospel choir, Gary, Mark and Howard performed on a giant running machine, whilst the audience nailed the song’s iconic movements.
One of our favourite tracks to hear live is ‘Relight My Fire’, and over the years we’ve been wowed by the various ways in which the band have performed the classic song. However, this tour’s version might be our most loved yet. Joined by the legendary Lulu and a gospel choir, ‘Relight The Fire’ is given a jazzy makeover and more dance moves, making it impossible for you to stand still whilst listening to it.
On the subject of dance moves, there are routines a plenty during the show including a sensational 90’s throwback in the form of ‘Sure’. However, for the first time in our memory, Take That performed ‘Pray’ without the famous dance routine. Whilst some may miss the moves, what they’ve actually done with the song both melodically and visually is just breathtaking. Performing the slowed down version which appears on Odyssey, Take That and their dancers appear at the front of the stage and sign their way through the track using British Sign Language. Not only is it refreshing to see them do something different with the song, but the end result is completely spellbinding.
Take That brought the show to an end with ‘Rule The World’, which allowed the audience to light up the arena using their phone torches. The powerful ballad is one of the band’s most beautiful offerings and was the perfect way to bring the night’s proceedings to a close. Take That really have ruled the world during their career, and the song gave us a moment to reflect on three decades worth of achievements.
Take That are known for putting on a spectacle, and in the past the band have used big props to deliver jaw dropping moments including Om the Robot, a giant mechanical elephant and a flying car. Whilst this tour feels a little more stripped back in comparison to what we’re used to in terms of production, the whole experience is wonderfully thought out and full of intricate details.
From the trio’s camaraderie, the eye-catching costumes, multi-talented dancers (who played a huge part in the production), Take That’s loyal band, the revolving orb, soundbites, and special guests, the show pays perfect homage to Take That’s remarkable career so far, and is a must-watch for any Thatter. Here’s to the next 30 years!