As a Manchester girl myself and Take That have a long history. In my crazier younger days I have slept in arena tunnels to get the latest tour tickets and spent nights in back alleys of music stores to catch a glimpse of the now man band.
By 1992 I was hooked and excited for my first concert to see them only to be thwarted by BBC News showing scenes of chaos and young girls being dragged out of their Apollo gig having been squashed or fainted in the mania and a horrified parent putting a stop to my plans.
At the time it seemed the end of the world but had I told my 12 year old self stood in Manchester Gmex, hollering at that very same young boy band in the following year, that 25 years later I would be heading out to see the group now all in their mid and late 40s I probably wouldn’t have believed it!
First a note to the venue, we love Manchester Arena, we’ve been most years since it opened in 1995 but it really could do with a revamp. The stairs are crazily steep with no rails and we saw several people almost take a tumble. For some unknown reason on Thursday night it was also ridiculously hot. This combined with people consuming very large amounts of alcohol seemed to be asking for trouble.
Anyway on to the show, and what can we say without giving too many spoilers other than Take That do theatre well. Few pop concerts we have been to have had the sort of staging, theatrical sets and story lines Take That do which would not be amiss at a West End or Vegas show and with it not being unusual to see elephants and giant robots grace the stage. Wonderland is no different with spectacular scenery, beautiful lazer water effects, flying carpets, soaring beds and stunning acrobatics plus the usual dose of brilliantly bonkers costumes only Take That could pull off.
It’s tough to take a new album which has only recently been released out to a live audience especially with shows like Take That where audiences often come to re live their youth and sing along and at times with the new tracks the audience felt a bit stilted.
That soon changed with the introduction of recent hit Giants which had the crowd once more up and out of their seats. By the time Gary, Howard and Mark launched into classic Take That songs the familiar roar of the crowd returned as the band smashed out favourites Back for Good, Pray and Relight My Fire, leaving everyone in no doubt why this man band are still going strong two and a half decades later.
With a little nod to their earliest followers with nineties song Satisfied and what can only be described as Take That’s very own anthem Never Forget the man band looked and sounded great especially Howard who really seemed to shine within the now smaller band of three.
We have to be honest in saying that for us it was no Circus tour which would be hard for anyone to beat but it’s still a damn good show and a must see for any Take That fan.
For Manchester ticket information see here