TAKE THAT / ALL SAINTS | LIVE REVIEW
Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wed 14 June
Pandemonium descended on Swansea as yet another high profile act added their name to the growing list of Liberty Stadium performers. Legendary Mancunian pop group Take That experienced their first outdoor date on their current Wonderland tour.
Very lucky to make it through the endless queues outside the venue, a healthy-ish crowd (albeit there were probably thousands outside wishing they were inside for this, cursing the security checks) had made their way inside the venue for support act, 90s chart-toppers All Saints.
I for one had maybe dismissed this selection of support as a mere filler before the main event, but if anything, the All Saints live experience seemed to flourish like a fine wine. The girls all seemed very happy on stage and gave a positive vibe throughout. Great backing band, and hits such as Never Ever, Pure Shores and Under The Bridge scored huge reactions from the growing crowd.
The stadium now boasting a keen 27,000 capacity, a little after 8.30pm, Gary, Mark and Howard make themselves shown in three different areas of the ground and kicked off the set with opener Wonderland. To the delight of the screaming fans, the three made their way through the crowds to the impressive staging in the middle of the pitch. Barely coming up for air, the boys rattled through hits Greatest Day and Kidz; Relight My Fire made an earlier than expected appearance in the setlist.
The stage took on a little jungle theme for the next medley of songs. The stripped-back, sitar-and-bongos combination worked well for Beautiful Day, Satisfied and popular Bee Gees cover How Deep Is Your Love?. Keen to up the tempo, we hit ultimate singalong mode. Fan favourites Shine, Back For Good and Patience get the full crowd participation treatment while Pray is met with a frenzy of screams and cheers for its old-skool dance routine. The support cast and dancers throughout the set were amazing, adding an incredible additional show in itself – none more so than It’s All For You, which saw Gary Barlow sing while travelling on a ‘flying’ bed.
The trio again entered the crowd to sing on separate podiums for Sigma cover Cry before the main set wrapped up with These Days, leaving the Liberty eager for more. Returning to the stage to the iconic fanfare and choirboy intro, the encore is a mass karaoke clapalong to Never Forget, before closing hit Rule The World and its huge firework finish.
It’s hard to find anything wrong with this now three-piece outfit. Indeed, Take That should stick with this number: there’s bound to be 25th anniversary plans on the horizon, but with Mark Owen and Howard Donald just as comfortable and able as Barlow on lead vocals, is there really need for Robbie and Jason anymore?
words OWEN SCOURFIELD photos KEVIN PICK