Progress Tour 2011
Last Tuesday, I was one of just over 64,000 people who filled out the superb Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, to watch Take That on their Progress Tour.
Not having seen them before, and not a diehard fan – although I do like some of their (inc Robbie’s) music, I was prompted to go as I guessed the show would be spectacular. Spectacular it was!
The Pet Shop Boys were the support act and were good….Although I missed the symbolism of dancers prancing about the stage with different coloured boxes on their heads, but each to their own I suppose.
The main act appeared and greeted to screams (literally) of delight from the crowd. A young lady next to me (the ‘T’ in Take of ‘Take That’ as part of an 8 lady T-shirt banner) had a pitch of scream that somehow managed to make my head vibrate from her high pitch releases. Fair play though, as they say in Wales, boy could she whistle!
The ‘boys’ appeared without Robbie for the first 5 numbers and set about a series of recent hits that received mass approval from the crowd. Well polished and delivered with a relaxed air which can’t be easy with 64,000 people watching your every move. The final song of the section saw an Alice in Wonderland type scene emerge, complete with a white rabbit, before the band merged into the video screen and it was time for the returning of the prodigal son (had he ‘come undone’?)
Next Robbie came on and for me personally, like him or hate him, the lad has a charisma and stage presence that the others just don’t have. He reeled off Rock DJ, Entertain You, among other tracks and finishing off with Angels, before being rejoined on stage for the rest of the gig by the others. He did have a trouser moment though, splitting them mid way through his solo performance. Recent stage fright and demons seemed to have deserted him as he made the most of the opportunity to raise the female frenzy even more, finishing with dropping his trousers completely to display his black (no tiger motive this time), pants. I expect they were M & S.
There were some what I guess to be ‘scripted adlibs’ of teasing between band members as well as a round of drinks being brought out at one stage. Wine for Gary, Howard and Jason, milk for Mark and Robbie. Plenty of thank you’s and how happy they were to be in Cardiff as well as getting the crowd to sing the Welsh National Anthem.
They didn’t disappoint as the show was quite stunning. Amazing light effects, costumes, waterfalls, dancers on bungys, fireballs were sent into the air as well as yellow ticker tape. Quite something, and as somebody who has an interest in stage lighting, kept me occupied trying to work out how they did it, what ‘movers’ they used and how the stage had been put together.
Finally the animaltronic man appeared and for the later half of the show, he gradually stretched his arms from a crouching position growing to standing up towering above the audience almost to the height of the stadium roof. Quite something and I can only imagine the Health and Safety headaches this must have caused!
So all in all a good night. Even the traffic chaos causing delays for the Park & Ride buses ferrying the punters back to the car park didn’t really dampen the mood.
So what next to see I wonder ……..
Rule the World
Hold up a Light
Let me Entertain You
Million Love Songs / Babe / Everything Changes / Back for Good
Relight my Fire