A fun and gloriously entertaining return to the stage for the fab three.
It has been four whole years since Take That performed on such a huge stage to delight and thrill their fans from start to finish and as always they did it with electrifying style that highlighted their showmanship and always wanting to put on the best possible show for their fans.
But they had also put on a line up of fantastic support performances from Will Young, Sugababes and The Script to ensure that those at Hyde Park never felt short changed and really did heighten the sense of anticipation. While Will Young’s distinctive and soothing vocals were a great starting point for a lazy afternoon (it was lovely to hear his biggest hits ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Leave Right Now’ being sung along to so enthusiastically by the crowd), the Sugababes really took it up a notch by performing many of their biggest hits, all of which had an edgier and rockier sound to them which was pleasing to the ear. Meanwhile, The Script’s performance was both energetic and moving, featuring soaring renditions of songs of ‘Hall of Fame’ and ‘Breakeven’ – but it was lead singer Danny’s tribute to the group’s late guitarist Mark Sheenan with a rendition of ‘If You Could See Me Now’ proving a moving moment.
All of these performances had a sense of nostalgia about them and was the perfect way in which to build up to the evening ahead and the arrival of Take That. The performance is exactly what fans will have come to expect from the group: colourful, energetic, nostalgic and entertaining to the point where you didn’t want it to end. Opening with ‘The Flood’ (with Howard taking the opening vocals and doing it justice), before plenty ensure there was a perfect blend of songs to please everyone. While I love the original version of ‘Greatest Day’ – I have to say the new version featuring Calum Scott has really got stuck in my head recently. To then hear Scott performing his beautifully understate take of ‘Dancing On My Own’ was a real treat that nobody was expecting.
As the evening began to fall, more hits were delivered, which saw the group delivering their fondly remembered dance moves for ‘Pray’, while hearing a sizeable crowd singing along to ‘Back For Good’ and ‘Rule the World’ for example felt really poignant. But of course as well as the ballads, there was so much energy and celebration to be found as they performed ‘Never Forget’ and thrillingly ‘Relight My Fire’ – which saw an extra surprise as Lula came and joined Take That on stage which was a thrill. No matter what song was performed it was clear that they were all enjoying being back on stage together again and the appreciation that they had for their fans was so clearly to be seen – particularly when they started having fun in reading out some of the signs that were being shown in the crowd, including one held up by a lady called Laura which read “Today is my greatest day, I made it through cancer” – Take That then dedicated the next song the beautifully haunting ‘The Garden’ to her.
The whole experience, which saw people in the crowd making new friends as they sang along to classic pop songs (I made friends with a lady who had come from Italy to see Take That perform) was a special experience and is certainly going to be a classic Summer memory to think back on with great fondness.
By Emma Clarendon