Take That magnificent at hometown gig in Manchester

Last Tuesday, Take That performed at the AO Arena in Manchester as part of their current ‘This Life On Tour’ tour. The concert series in their hometown of Manchester had been somewhat uncertain in the recent weeks due to technical issues at the original concert venue in Manchester: the Co-op Live Arena. But in end the AO Arena in Manchester proved to have enough space to accommodate Take That’s concerts. So the concerts moved to the AO Arena and only one concert had to be rescheduled.

Olly Murs had the honour to open the night as the support act during this tour. With a big smile, lots of enthusiasm, and good dance moves, Olly immediately won over the Take That fans in Manchester. His hit “Heart Skips A Beat” was sung along loudly, and there was already plenty of dancing in Manchester. He performed many, mostly uptempo songs during his 45-minute set, but Olly made the biggest impression with his heartfelt song “Dear Darlin”, during which he even shed a small tear.

Then it was time for the first of a series of hometown gigs for Take That at the AO Arena. With the somewhat calm track “Keep Your Head Up”, Take That opened the concert in an impressive and almost cinematic manner. A large television screen displayed on the stage showed Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, and Mark Owen, after that the screen was opening slowly to reveal the stage for Take That. The audience in Manchester was ecstatic to see their favorite Take That members performing on stage.

After playing a couple of tracks from the recent album “This Life”, it was time to dive into Take That’s well-known repertoire. The classic “Everything Changes” felt like coming home. Howard took over Robbie Williams’ vocal part, and band leader Mike Stevens had his moment to shine with a beautiful saxophone solo. During “Shine”, the stage transformed into a large water fountain, which looked very good.

Throughout the concert, there was a segment where Take That humorously revisited their band history. This tour is the first tour of Take That where Gary, Mark, and Howard also sang their solo singles. Gary sang his debut ballad “Forever Love”, and Mark sang the catchy single “Clementine”. In 1996, Howard worked on a solo album and even had a single ready to release, but unfortunately, it was never officially released. The fact that Howard was singing his solo single “Speak Without Words” during this tour made it extra special, and together with guitarist Milton McDonald, Howard created a memorable moment in Manchester.

At every major tour, Take That also has a B-stage where they walk towards via a bridge, and this was also the case with this “This Life On Tour” tour. During ‘Greatest Day’, Gary, Howard, and Mark walked over the bridge to the second stage to play three songs, including the catchy song “These Days”. Because of the many pyro effects during “Relight My Fire” the temperature in the AO Arena raised further in Manchester.

With the hit singles “Never Forget” and “Rule The World”, the strong opening show of Take That in their hometown of Manchester came to an end.

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