Take That

Review: Take That and Special Guests, BST Hyde Park

Take That are arguably one of the biggest boyband success stories of all time. With their 25 year anniversary approaching, the band have had an incredible career and have triumphed time and time again. Despite only consisting of three members now, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, their massive arena tour last year proved that they are unstoppable.

It was therefore no surprise that fans went mad when they were announced as a headliner for British Summer Time in Hyde Park. So much so, they ensured that the 65,000 capacity gig was a sell out. We went along to check out the action for ourselves, and we were not left disappointed!

Before Take That entertained the masses, we were treated to numerous performers. First off was Rhys Lewis, who left us immediately impressed. It’s always a daunting task to be the first performer, especially if you’re unknown to the majority of the crowd. However, he handled it like a pro. Armed with his guitar alone, he entertained the early crowd-goers with his original music, and even bantered a bit with the audience.

The biggest shame of all was the fact that the park was fairly empty, as many people didn’t arrive until much later. However, Rhys didn’t let this phase him, and his golden vocals won us over. He’s definitely found a new fan in us!

Next up was the soulful Nathan Sykes, who’s vocals never fail to give us goosebumps. Nathan delivered a set of his original material, including fan favourites ‘Kiss Me Quick’ and ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’. We were also treated to a cover which made our day. You may remember this vocal warm up video of ‘Stitches’ which Nathan posted a few months ago. Ever since then, we’ve secretly hoped that he would perform it live, and to our surprise and delight, he slayed it in front of the Hyde Park crowd!

Later on in his set, he shared a song called ‘Twist’ from his upcoming debut album. The track was a total bop and made us excited for his hotly anticipated album! Nathan also performed ‘Over and Over Again’ on the piano, before finishing with his latest single ‘Give It Up’. He served us some flawless vocals and came across as incredibly endearing.

The performing baton was then passed on to Jamie Lawson, the first signing from Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man record label. The singer-songwriter, who also supported One Direction on the UK leg of their On The Road Again tour, performed a set including hit songs ‘I Wasn’t Expecting That’, ‘Cold In Ohio’ and ‘Someone For Everyone’.

Having seen him perform a year ago, it was evident to see how much Jamie had grown in confidence. Whilst the tone of his set was rather chilled, he was very upbeat as a performer and put on a strong performance.

Next up was Ella Eyre, the only female act on the main stage during the day. She certainly represented the females well and delivered a high energy set from the off. Ella burst onto the stage and performed numerous hits including ‘Comeback’, ‘Together’, ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’, ‘Waiting All Night’, and ‘Gravity’.

Whilst most of the set was uptempo, Ella proved her versatility by slowing things down too. She also performed some new songs from her next album which was a treat. We weren’t really sure what to expect from Ella but her vocals, choreography and stage presence was impressive. We’re looking forward to hearing more from her in the future.

The penultimate act of the evening was the lovely Olly Murs. We couldn’t think of anyone better to get the audience suitably warmed up for the rest of the evening! Before he made his way to the stage, the crowd were hyped up by the opening VT used during his Never Been Better tour. Between the beating music and the eye-catching visuals, Olly proved that he meant business before even making an appearance on stage.

As soon as he appeared, he treated the lively crowd to a mixture of hits including ‘Troublemaker’, ‘Stevie Knows’, ‘Heart Skips A Beat’, ‘Dear Darlin”, and ‘Dance With Me Tonight’. Olly made use of the entire stage and walkway, reaching out to as much of the crowd as possible.

During his set, he re-introduced Ella Eyre to the stage and invited her to perform his Demi Lovato duet, ‘Up’. The pair sounded great together, although this isn’t a surprise as they performed the song nightly during Olly’s last tour. Olly also performed his brand new song ‘You Don’t Know Love’, which sounded brilliant live. It’s already flying high in the iTunes chart, and is sure to rocket even higher after performing it to 65,000 people.

Olly was his usual cheeky chappie self throughout and provided the audience with plenty of laughs in between songs. He made some Tinder jokes, cracked out some dance moves and was so enthusiastic that he even managed to rip his trousers (again)! Olly’s last song was ‘Wrapped Up’, a brilliant way to end his slot. He proved to be an incredible showman who energised the masses perfectly. Olly has such a wide appeal, it’s almost impossible not to be charmed by the smiley Essex lad.

Finally, it was time for the evening’s main act, Take That. With 65,000 people gathered in Hyde Park, it was sure to be a memorable evening for both the band and the audience. Since their reunion in 2005, Take That’s live shows have been known for being incredible spectacles, particularly the openings.

On this occasion, a tenor greeted the crowd by signing ‘Nessun Dorma’ on the B-stage, whilst dancers with colourful flags lined up on the walkway. The opening felt a bit low key considering what we’ve seen from the band in the past, however, it was pretty special nonetheless. As the song reached its peak, the opening bars of ‘Shine’ blasted across the park and the band appeared on stage, welcomed by deafening screams from the audience.

Take That performed an incredibly crowd-pleasing set, mainly consisting of the classics such as ‘Greatest Day’, ‘Patience’, ‘Pray’, ‘Could It Be Magic’, and ‘A Million Love Songs’. There wasn’t a single song on the set list which didn’t receive a rapturous applause, and is testament to their sustained popularity.

Throughout the night, each member of Take That relayed their gratitude at being given the opportunity to perform at Hyde Park. You could sense them getting emotional, and at one point they called upon their photographer to take a crowd picture so that they could treasure the moment forever.

In order to make the night as memorable as possible, we were treated to two surprise guests during the evening. As the opening bars of ‘Relight My Fire’ played through the park, the legendary Lulu appeared on the B-stage and provided us with a dramatic opening. We were transported back to 1993, as Lulu performed with the boys for the rest of the song, just like she did on the original record.

Bringing things back to the present day, Take That introduced Sigma to the stage, who recently released ‘Cry’ with the band. This was one of the highlights of the night for us, as it is a different sound for Take That, and it was incredible to see the crowd going wild and jumping around during the dance track.

As we mentioned earlier, Take That LOVE to put on a spectacle. The band were armed with an incredible crew who helped make the show visually stunning. From the dancers to the VT’s, lighting to confetti, everything had been planned to perfection. Take That also made every effort to please the entire crowd, and spent a lot of time out on the B-stage and walkways. It was impossible to reach the entire 65,000 strong audience but they did the best they could in such an enormous area.

Of course, the show wouldn’t be the same without Take That’s loyal band either, most of whom have played with them from day one – loyalty at its best. The members were introduced to the crowd before ‘Back For Good’, although the die hard fans were already well accustomed with the band members. Gary, Mark and Howard also joined the band on a few occasions, taking on the piano, guitar and drums respectively as they performed some of their greatest hits.

As the night drew to a close, Take That once again thanked the audience for their support, and prepared us for the supposed last song, ‘Rule The World’. It was a magical sight to see the park all lit up with phone lights, and the performance was made even more special by a stunning firework display at the end.

Of course, anyone who’s been to a Take That show before will know that there’s always an encore. Cue ‘Never Forget’, the group’s most anthemic track and perfect ending to a spectacular evening. Whether you’ve been to a show before or not, everyone automatically knows that you have to raise your arms in the air during the chorus. It’s just one of life’s brilliant things! ‘Never Forget’ always carries an incredible atmosphere – if you’ve never witnessed it live, then you really need to.

Take That are a great example of a band bringing people together. Whilst the stereotypical TT fan is supposedly a middle-aged woman, the park was full of men, women and children of all ages, enjoying life to the full. The band were excellent headliners who gave all who attended a night they’ll never forget. There is no doubt that they deliver the crème de la crème of live performances.

Did you attend Take That’s British Summer Time gig at Hyde Park? Let us know @CelebMix.

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com