After my previous declaration of undying love, I realized that was only my first post about Take That on this blog :-/ Clearly, this must be remedied *grin* So I thought I’d post lots of clips with their craziest concert ideas, which is what I love about them the most. And then I realized the post was getting so long that it would be better to split it up into a few posts ;) This one will cover clips from all their stadium tours since they re-united.
Also, I now have a second agenda, which I didn’t have when I started drafting this - they recently released the tour dates for their next album. And I’ve always wanted to see them live at least once, but I don’t really have anybody to go with and going alone wouldn’t be the same. So if anybody either is a fan or likes these clips enough to think that going to a Take That concert with me would be worth some effort and money then please let me know *grin*
The Circus Tour (2009)
What I find most interesting about their tours since they re-united is how they deal with their old songs… I mean the really old ones like their debut single - “Do What U Like“, which was released in 1991 and peaked at no. 82 in the UK chart ;) Their first album was dreadful (it took them a year to even get a record deal and despite their popularity with teenage girls, it wasn’t until 1993 and their second album that they had a no.1 single in the UK). Nowadays their music is very different and their really old stuff no longer suits them, but for purely sentimental reasons it would be weird not to include at least one or two of those tracks on tour. And so, some of their most original staging ideas are for those early songs - something has to be done to make those tracks more palatable! ;)
On this tour, they arranged some of those early songs into a medley and dressed up as clowns *grin* They actually kept the original (IMO slightly crappy) 1991-92 choreography for those songs, they just varied it a bit - made it more irregular and clownish. This worked extremely well.
And I actually have a theory that the sole reason to bring back the “Take That & Party” track (which I think they probably haven’t performed in concert since 1993) was to have a good reason to pull their trousers down ;) (the original choreo relied quite heavily on displaying Take That underwear in the finale *grin*).
The Beautiful World Tour (2007)
The already posted “We’re serious politicians, what we’re saying is amazing and you should totally vote for us” staging of “Reach Out“ comes from this tour. Definitely one of my favourites *grin*
But something else I really liked on this tour was how they dealt with what happened in the middle of it - Howard’s lung collapsed and he wasn’t able to perform for a couple of weeks. He had to spend time in a hospital in Vienna and it was some time afterwards before he could rejoin the tour (the other three guys continued without him, so as to not disappoint the fans). In the time when he was out of hospital, but not yet fit to perform, he would come out on stage just to say hello and sorry to the fans. This would be nothing out of the ordinary if not for the manner in which it was done *grin* I’ve seen two variations, not sure if there were more. Here’s the “straight out of hospital” version and this is the sexy nurse one *grin*
Finally, another part of this tour that I’m sort of addicted to is “Give Good Feeling“ and “Sure“ (the song that follows it). This is somewhat more conventional boyband stuff - the sort of choreography they were designed for really. But I think this is the most spectacular thing they’ve done in that style, it’s top notch. They’re really pushing themselves there (you’re looking at guys approaching their 40s! :)). And also, I have a sadistic sort of pleasure in seeing Gary screwing up the singing, even if it’s only a little ;-P I spent my teens watching Take That concerts and trying to find a moment in which his singing is slightly off tune or where he’s out of breath. He’s on lead vocals for most of their concerts and performing strenuous dancing routines and yet in all the 90s Take That live performances I’ve seen, I’ve never seen him screw up (and I used to be able to catch out even some pretty good pop singers who did not do much dancing during concerts). So to see him so out of breath that it significantly effects his singing (it’s in the second song, past the 5min. mark) is very pleasing to me ;) (yay, he’s human and they really are singing live! ;)).
The Ultimate Tour (2005)
If we’re talking crazy ways of adapting old Take That songs then the way they did “It Only Takes A Minute“ on this tour takes the cake (it’s the same song they do around the 2:50 mark on the Clown Medley clip). In fact, it might be my favourite Take That live performance ever. They took the song and made it into a tango (which is sort of idiotic in itself - the two versions of the song have almost nothing in common apart from the lyrics lol). They even hired a real tango dancer from Argentina and then staged a big dramatic tango jealousy thing around her. The end result is something that looks nothing like a pop concert, but it’s amazing lol
On a side note, I absolutely love the way microphones get passed around in this. I mean I generally love how Take That use microphones in their choreo - they often have creative ideas on how to deal with holding them or not holding them or whatever, but this routine was particularly complicated on that count since you can’t really hold a microphone or even stand by one when you’re in a tango pose.
And the other part of this tour that is reaaaally worth a look is their “Manufacturing a Boyband” sequence. The joke is that they were asked to adhere to every one of those “fundamental rules” in the 90s. It’s a wonderful way of taking the mickey out of themselves - even Gary’s notorious reluctance to dance gets some attention lol