Take That kicked off their Wembley Stadium concerts with a stunning show last night (30.06.11).
The group – made up of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – are playing a record-breaking eight gigs at the prestigious London venue as part of their ‘Progress Live’ tour, their first as a five-piece since Robbie quit in 1995.
The show opened with Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard playing the hit songs from their two albums as a four-piece, ‘Beautiful World’ and ‘The Circus’, which included ‘Greatest Day’, ‘Rule The World’, ‘Patience’ and ‘Shine’ as well as leading the crowd in a rendition of the Great British national anthem ‘God Save The Queen’.
As they went off stage, Robbie appeared and treated the screaming crowds to songs from his solo career, starting with ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and finishing with his most famous song, ‘Angels’, which left him overcome with emotion.
The group then all appeared on stage together as they sang hit single ‘The Flood’ and other songs from their ‘Progress’ album, before thrilling the audience with some of their biggest ever hits from their early days, including ‘Back For Good’, ‘Pray’, ‘Relight My Fire’ and ‘Never Forget’.
Support for the evening came from the English electronic dance music duo, Pet Shop Boys.
Take That have been entertaining themselves on tour by playing bingo.
Gary Barlow ‘ who is joined in the British group by Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Robbie Williams and Howard Donald ‘ has been hosting “Barlow’s Bingo” nights for the band, using the kit he bought when he was a professional caller of the game before shooting to fame in the 90s.
He said: “I used to be a bingo caller when I was first starting out.
“I used to love reading out the numbers. We have bingo nights backstage on the Take That tour to help everyone relax. We call it Barlow’s Bingo.”
Meanwhile, Robbie Williams ‘ who has previously spoken of his desire to start a family with wife Ayda Field – has been showering lavish gifts upon his bandmate’s kids, including giving Gary’s 10-year-old son Daniel a pair of soccer star David Beckham’s old boots.
Gary said: “My son Daniel loves Rob because he gives him footballs and he even gave him a pair of David Beckham’s old boots.
“He thinks the best thing that’s ever happened to me is knowing Rob.’
Mark Owen added: “My children Elwood and Willow love Rob. My son draws pictures for him and Ayda. He’s obsessed with him.”
The band are preparing to embark on a 36-date run of stadium shows from Friday (27.05.11) and the singer admits he has been stricken with nerves, but is now looking forward to the concerts.
He said: “A few weeks ago I had a pre-tour panic, a bit of a meltdown, which I went through for a couple of days.
“Not much sleep, but I came through the other end and I’ve been all right since.
“But we’re confident with it now and I think the show’s going to be brilliant.”
The ‘Progress Live’ tour is the first series of concerts the band have embarked on since Robbie Williams rejoined the band last year, 15 years after he quit, and Mark admits they were initially worried about how he would cope not performing solo, but the ‘Rudebox’ singer has turned out to be the most enthusiastic about their elaborate stage productions.
Mark added to Music Week magazine: “Rob’s had to come in and do things he hasn’t done for 10 years or so, and be part of a group. It’s a whole new thing for him, but seeing how well he’s adjusted to it is great. There was a feeling like, ‘What if he doesn’t want to put clown make-up on while he’s singing’ or ‘How’s it going to work with all of us?’ but he’s definitely part of the band in the truest sense.
“In fact, we have to hold him back now – he wants to put make-up on during every song!”
Though Robbie has been back in the band ‘ which also comprises Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – for some time, Mark admits he is still taken by surprise when he realises they are a five-piece once again.
He said: “Now and again I’d catch myself looking over my shoulder thinking, ‘Oh, we’re back, all of us’ and I’d laugh inside. I can’t believe it. I keep getting this warm feeling.”
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