It isn't every day that you are invited to see Take That for free, but that's exactly what happened to me one morning last week! The offer came from an old school friend who is arranging transport for Take That's European ‘Progress’ tour.
Now I'm not really a Take That fan, but when faced with an opportunity like this, you just don't turn it down do you? So off we went up the A1 on a cold and wet Thursday night, eventually to be met by my mate outside the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. After handing over our phones and cameras and being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement (how exciting), we made our way down to the pitch and sat shivering for about 20 minutes before the Pet Shop Boys came on stage and warmed us with their 80s synthpop confections.
After a short break, Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason took to the stage to rapturous applause and launched into some of the hits from their 'pre Robbie comeback' period! Then after about half an hour they made way for the Robbie Williams solo career show! The crowd that had formed close to the stage (mostly made up of female fans and myself) were immediately energised and proceeded to bounce along to all the hits. Being a bit of an old codger, I had decided to take a step back from all the wild oestrogen-fuelled thrusting and watch from the back. However, this was when Robbie decided to leave the stage and climb aboard a gantry which was then swung out over the crowd. Well I say crowd – it was actually swung out over myself and my daughter’s heads. I was swept along with the madness of it all and I duly raised my arm and extended my hand.
What happened next was bizarre and surreal, because this was the moment that time seemed to slow down. In what seems now to be almost cinematic slow motion, Robbie Williams looked at me and then reached down and shook my hand. All I could hear was my daughter shrieking “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, YOU JUST SHOOK ROBBIE'S HAND!” With all thoughts of the cold miserable weather long forgotten, the 'fab five' were reunited on stage and played for about another hour and a half with costumed dancers, a very expensive-looking light show, a gigantic animated robotic man with breath taking fireworks, and pyrotechnics.
Sat in McDonalds drive through two hours later, we still couldn't believe what we'd just witnessed.
I'm still not a Take That song fan, and to be honest I suppose it makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but the preview show we were privy to that night is definitely up there with being at LIVE AID in 1985 and is without doubt something I will never forget!
Posted by Antony Creative on 03 Jun 2011 at 10:57