Take That – Progress Live 2011 at Wembley Stadium

Saturday 2nd July 2011 will forever live on in my memory as the day all my dreams came true. I have been waiting almost my entire life for this day – I finally got to see Take That in concert!

The effect Take That have had on mine and so many others lives might sound totally stupid if you’re not a fan, but I genuinely cannot emphasis how much they mean to me!

My earliest memory is related to Take That, the posters on my walls were Take That / Robbie, my tape collection was dominated by Take That, I had videos, pencils, address book, Tshirts.. imagine what I’d have had if I was a bit older at the time! I was 10 when Robbie left so too young to have seen them in concert but still I adored them. I was one of those young girls sobbing their hearts out. I didn’t care by the time Take That split up the year after as I wasn’t interested in them as a foursome, I just thought it was a nice birthday present for Robbie.

Fast forward a few years and the top rated songs in my playlist sound the same as my TT & Rob playlist on my iPod. The most played playlist is the same. I listen to Take That or Robbie or both, pretty much every day. I don’t have the posters on my wall (but I do have a Rob calendar).

I didn’t really like the Take That comeback as 4 of them, but the songs have definitely grown on me & I like much more of them now (perhaps that’s in reaction to not being the biggest fan of Progress) and watching the Circus tour repeats on tv makes me regret not going to what looked like an amazing tour.

Then the rumours came true about Robbie rejoining them and coming back as a 5 piece. If you follow me on twitter or know me in real life you will know I watched every tv show they did, pretty much every single one of them in tears because I never thought that day would come. And finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for since then….the tour.

It was definitely worth the almost 20 year wait!

I couldn’t sleep the 3 nights before hand as I was so excited, it was like waiting for a combined christmas and birthday (I get very excited about both of those days still, aged 25!)  and when we got to Wembley Stadium I kept thinking it was going to turn out to be some practical joke and it was going to be some fake tribute band!

We got in about 6pm and decided to get some of the seats at the back as the crowd was already quite deep at the front around the stages & I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see anything!

Pet Shop Boys were the supporting act & I totally get why as they have linked up with Robbie in the past & with Take That’s current electro pop songs. But I’m not a fan and their performance wasn’t really enough to make me change my mind. The best thing about it was the dancers! I don’t think the acoustics of Wembley helped either.

Then Take That as a 4 piece came on, and started with Rule the World and did some of their other comeback hits. They were absolutely fantastic and I really regretted not seeing them sooner. They put on a huge production (which was carried on all night) with lots of dancers, acrobats, a ballerina, fireworks and amazing lighting.

They went off stage as the music to Let Me Entertain You came on. I felt sorry for the woman next to me, I have a feeling I screamed a little to much and a little too loudly as she gave me a strange look! Searching the stage there was no sign of Robbie yet, until all of a sudden he bungee jumped down from the top of the stage! 85,000 screaming and shouting people made even more noise than they had for Take That & he was off, taking to the stage like he’d never been away. Rob did quite a few of his songs, Feel, Rock DJ, Angels, Come Undone & sounded fantastic all the way through. At first I thought the accoustics did him no favours as it was hard to understand what he was saying between songs but I think they might have changed the level of his mic as it didnt last long. He was his usual brash self, poking fun at the recent injunction stories (which surprised me given Howard set it all off) and generally being rude. Mum’s since told me people have complained but what did they expect?! This is what he does.

Angels was amazing, he sung far more of the song than he usually does & sounded brilliant, the boy can sing.

At one point Robbie went over the crowd on a platform reaching down to touch as many fans as he could. One girl had a plan and pulled her top down to show off her boobs, which Robbie enjoyed 😉  (best pair of breasts in the place apparently) and made the rest of the crowd giggle as they were shown on the huge tv screens onstage.

Before I knew it, his set was over & he was off the stage, before coming back as 5 of them. How I didn’t cry as they launched into the Flood I have no idea! They did a mix of songs off their latest album, luckily all the songs I actually like (there are more than I realised).  As well as all the dancers, the stage came to life throughout this bit of the performance with a huge robotic man coming out from behind a screen to eventually be stood on the end of the stage in the crowd by the end of the night.

Then they did a medley of old stuff, and oh my god I thought I was going to burst. Totally stripped back from the massive production of the rest of the show, sat huddled around a piano, the five of them egged each other on to start to sing one of their old songs. They randomly burst into old dance routines & all of them (including Gary!) danced to a great reception from the crowd, and they did a few full length performances. It was breathtaking. And I still wasn’t crying, my parents were glancing at me every 30 seconds to check I hadn’t set off yet.

Gary got some drinks brought out at one point as they are now a ‘man band’ they can do that sort of think. He gave Howard & Jason red wine but Mark & Rob weren’t allowed anything alcoholic which was amusing!

One of my favourite Take That songs is Never Forget and that was the song that finally got me on Saturday night. I managed to hold it together with just a few tears….and then the five of them launched into No Regrets. I filmed a snippet of it which I will link to in the comments once its uploaded – the shaking is where I am sobbing so much I can’t hold the camera straight! Who would have thought that the five of them would be performing that song?!

After briefly going off stage, they came back on for an encore & finished off by Gary singing Eight Letters as they were walking along the front of the crowd, greeting the fans & taking gifts from them. I love the lyric ‘eight letters, three words, one meaning’ and it was fitting way to end the show.

Take That – I love you!

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