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A gig worth the hefty ticket prices!
Take That Progress Tour 2011
Member Name: SparksFly
Take That Progress Tour 2011
Advantages: Great singing ,dancing and overall performances!
Disadvantages: Pricey tickets and dodgy sound at times
I am a bit too young to be a huge fan of the group and so this was my first Take That gig and my first ever stadium concert experience! And I can assure you they did not disappoint. I had seen The Circus Tour DVD and was very impressed at the theatrics the group incorporated into their show which kept the audience entertained throughout the whole thing. So when I heard that they were embarking on another stadium tour, and this time Robbie would be along for the ride, I was suddenly very eager to get a ticket. The tickets sold out extremely quickly but I luckily managed to get one for one of the first dates of the entire tour at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. My seat was about 7 rows from the very back so I was very high up and very far back. This didn't matter too much though as there were giant screens so you could always see what was going on. The tickets were not cheap so I wouldn't have gone if I wasn't sure about the band. However, even though they were pricey to see, Take That gave everyone in the stadium a great night out that we'll Never Forget (sorry for the terrible joke!).
-The Support Act-
When I heard that The Pet Shop Boys would be supporting the boys on tour I wasn't excited at all as I am not a fan, but my uncle who went with me was very impressed. They started promptly and kept the crowd happy as the fans were finding their seats and getting drinks etc. I wasn't particularly blown away by their stage presence but they certainly had some exciting dancers who had boxes on their heads!
-The Opening Section-
After The Pet Shop Boys had left the stage, a man dressed as a mad scientist informed everyone of the mammoth number of fans at the stadium that night which made everyone cheer. The fact that the crowd was so enthusiastic even before the band had come on made the atmosphere electric and you could practically feel the excitement around you. Gary, Jason, Howard and Marc appeared shortly after as a quartet and sang 5 tracks without Robbie. The songs they picked were all well known and put everyone in a great mood, everyone was singing along to 'Patience' particularly loudly. 'Shine' was the song that really set the bar for the theatrics as dancers dressed as bees, Gary playing a comical piano and Marc riding a caterpillar graced the stage. This performance made the crowd roar and was entertaining for everyone, even in the back row, because it occurred in the very middle of the stadium on a smaller stage connected to the main stage by a catwalk. This set up really allowed the group and the dancers to make the most of their space as everyone could get a decent view of the unfolding events. All too soon the foursome were done with their set and the crowd went absolutely wild as everyone knew who was coming on next.
-Robbie's Solo Set-
I enjoy the music of Take That without Robbie and with Robbie, but for me and many others that night, Robbie's solo section was the highlight of the whole show. He is such a wonderful showman and is fantastic at what he does. Nobody could resist his charms as he sang a cheeky '2nd Night Song' and got everyone in a jovial mood which was great to experience. He opened his section with 'Let Me Entertain You', jumping around the stage and screaming into the microphone. The standing crowd were jumping at you couldn't help but smile at his cockiness. He calmed down at bit to sing 'Feel' and 'Angel' and I was very impressed with his vocals and he showed them off brilliantly. The best part of his set for me was when he was transported over the standing crowd on a lift as he decided to lie down and reach out for the crowd below, which made them all go crazy. Robbie's inimitable showmanship was on point throughout the concert and his energy level kept me amazed the whole time, he never seemed to tire!
-Take That All Together-
The boys joined forces to sing their hit single 'The Flood' whilst some very brave people scaled a wall which had water flowing down it. Even from the back I found this very impressive. The group then sang songs from their 'Progress' album which was fine and entertaining, I'm just not a fan of the album that much. Once they sang their older hits such as 'A Million Love Songs' and 'Back For Good' the crowd went into overdrive and sang the lyrics with such passion it was incredible. A giant robot was revealed and it very slowly began to move forward. At one point, the boys stood on various parts of its body as it scooted forwards which was a totally unique place to sing their songs. Once they were all off, the robot slowly stood up and held its arms out to the sides. The sheer scale of this robot man held everyone's attention for a while, but this was suddenly shifted as the boys began to sing the old fan favourite 'Never Forget'. Seeing over 50,000 people all throw their arms in the air in unison during the chorus was a great experience and you could see the joy on the band's faces which was great to witness. Their performance of 'Relight My Fire' was energetic and had lots of people dancing despite the cooler temperatures as it was getting very dark at this time. I was a bit disappointed with their closing song 'Eight Letters' but their great performances all night made up for this.
Every member of Take That put all they had into their singing, which was always great and no screechy sounds were made! I was very impressed with their dedication to the show as they danced, scaled robots and went up very high to sing from the top of the stage where the other robot man overlooked the crowd. You could tell that they enjoy performing which made it that much more special to see and the huge Take That fans were very pleased! Parking and transport was no problem for me and I found free parking that wasn't too far from the venue. The memorabilia was expensive, so I didn't purchase any of that and I don't know what drink prices were like as I avoided these areas too. The toilet queues were a bit intimidating but with a crowd that large you're always going to have a problem with this. As the crowd was female dominated some of the women used the men's toilets which eased the queues slightly. The event staff were very knowledgeable and helped us find our seats easily which was reassuring. The only issue I had with the concert itself was that the sound was slightly off at a few points during the show. Overall, I had a great time at the Progress Live Tour and will definitely consider seeing them again some day.
Summary: Progress Live Tour