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Gig Review: Take That @ TSB Arena, Wellington - 21/11/2017

24 Nov 2017 // A review by Made2Fade
My first recollection of entering the TSB Arena for UK Pop band Take That, was how classy the place was that night. I'm used to going to beer-soaked, B.O fuelled dirty rock gigs here, where they lay down some type of plastic lining ready for clean up afterwards. Instead, the first thing I noticed was that the entire arena floor was carpeted. Clearly ready for the high-heeled stampede of 2,500+ women, about to tear Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen apart with their enthusiastic 1960s 'Beatlistic' screams. Yes, I just made my own word up in reference to the Beatles. Sue me!

As I found my seat (once again, classy), I was noticing the vast array of people. From 6-year-olds, to teens, to young adults, parents, grandparents but most of all grown women fangirling over their own personal memories of Take That. At one stage I overheard a middle-aged woman stating how she thought Gary Barlow was still "HOT" and how much she'd love to break him in half. "Hey Gary, welcome to New Zealand" 😉

A few more memories of the night. Before Take That came on stage, they had a lot of various UK artists playing over the PA, to warm the crowd. Many women taking selfies, champagne in plastic flutes, their husbands or partners looking out of their depth and clearly dragged along, whilst listening to their daughters and darlings scream. Not-so-appropriate, yelling from ladies who found their mates and encouraging them to join in on the fun. I envied our photographer, Reef Reid, as I watched him in "no man's land" between the stage and crowd, taking photos all in his own little world.

This is not the type of band I would normally listen to but I was intrigued when I read how they set the record, for the fastest selling tour of all time in UK history. 1.34 million tickets were snapped up for their Progress Live Tour 2011, in less than 24 hours. They made $185 million in 3 months, that blew my mind!

The sound was tight, the vocalists were a little too high in the mix but that didn't stop the 3000 odd backing vocalists, nearly drowning the guys out at times. Gary, Howard and Mark had a fantastic backing band to help compliment their music to keep things alive, but don't let that distract from their own technical abilities.

They themselves were fantastic musicians and vocalists, not missing a note. The harmonies sounded magnificent and their professionalism and performance on stage, mixed with great sound and world-class lighting made for an outstanding hour and a half.

They played a huge rep of songs but the ones that stuck out for me the most were Giants, A Million Love Songs and Back For Good.

The stage was lit up by rainbow coloured lighting as Giants, from their 2017 album Wonderland was performed. This emphasized the song so well.  A Million Love Songs, was stripped back with Gary on his Yamaha Piano accompanied with Mark and Howard singing. This highlighted their vocal ability. Back For Good is that song that everyone has probably heard over the years. So as you can imagine EVERYONE was singing this song.

All-in-all, whether you listen to pop music regularly or not, Take That have devoted fans from 1990 to now and will for years to come. This was one of the best gigs I have been too in a long time!

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