Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are in the final stages of the UK leg of their Take That Live 2015 tour. So Jon Hornbuckle went along to The O2, London, to catch all the action for the Ticketmaster blog.
Last time I saw Take That live was back in 2011 at Wembley Stadium, where they put on a mammoth production with the original line-up, including Robbie Williams – it was near on the perfect pop extravaganza. So I was intrigued to see how they’d fit back in an arena four years on with only three members.
Support from Ella Henderson was of a high standard, though it will come as no surprise that Ghost was the standout moment of her set. Hopefully her next album will bring a few more tracks of that level to even out her future performances.
The lights went down at around 20:45 but there was 15 minutes of circus foolery before Take That popped up onto the elaborate and visually impressive stage. The move back to performing in arenas has allowed the band more creative freedom with the Cirque Du Soleil theme, that’s for sure.
They fully embraced the circus theme on their 2009 stadium tour but this time it’s less conventional and more of a visual spectacle. There’s shadow dance, a flying car and several neon jellyfish (which I still don’t quite understand).
The setlist managed to strike a perfect balance between the classic hits and tracks from their latest (some say, edgier) album. Take That have amassed a huge and fiercely loyal fanbase but there will also be many here that are far more casual fans. But don’t fear! The band put on such a high energy, quality show, by the time the first dance break arrived, I’d already downloaded the new album.
I genuinely think you could take anyone to a Take That concert and they’d have a blast, even if they’d never heard of them – although let’s be honest, that’s unlikely. It seems that regardless of venue or the number of members, Take That are still A-Class performers.
Get remaining tickets at Ticketmaster.co.uk/takethat.