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#194 Take That @ Amsterdam Arena (July 18th 2011)

Support: Pet Shop Boys

My second Take That concert....there are not many men that can say that...this time of course Robbie Williams was back to remake the band a five-some (thankfully the Danish lobster didn't attack again). For many this was a good thing...for many others a bad thing. So...which camp are you in? Kind of weird that I would care being a man who loves Queen, Bon Jovi, Springsteen and the Stones...but I do. My music taste is pretty varied and while I can appreciate loud guitars I can also love pop music at the same time.

Take That - Amsterdam Arena July 18th 2011

So...once again...which camp are you in? Me? I'm very much a Robbie Williams fan; a great showman who lights up a stage. The other half? She adores him...loves him in fact. She would actually have no problem running away with him tomorrow. For others he is...well....an idiot. That's what I hear a lot from non fans; even some Take That fans. Each to their own of course as it usually doesn't matter. Opinion is just that. Apart from when that division can take place at the same gig. Luckily for me everyone in the arena was there for a good time but undoubtedly most of the audience were Robbie Williams fans first and foremost. This was always going to be the case though as the band's latest album Progress (which is a fine album especially the closing Eight Letters) has sold by the bucket load in the UK but they are nowhere near as big in the Netherlands. Unfortunately this meant that some of their newer songs were not as well received as they should have been. These included four big UK hits in the opening five songs: Rule The WorldGreatest DayPatience and Shine. I get the feeling that many in the crowd will go home having a new found appreciation for those songs. During the gig though they just weren’t that familiar with them.

So why go to Amsterdam to see Take That?

- A break away in Europe tied in with a concert is always a good thing.

- It was other half’s birthday.

- More fans in the Netherlands to see Robbie Williams than Take That. For me that was a good thing as it potentially meant more chance of me not being the only man there!

The gig itself? You know what? It was immense. I like a good show and this was just that. The stage and the whole set up were fantastic and we both came away having had a great time. Each of the three parts (Take That as a four piece / Robbie Williams Solo / Take That as a five piece) was different and thoroughly enjoyable. The five of them are likeable guys (yes even Robbie for you haters out there!) and that always helps enjoy a show.  Some artists really don't care about the audience but usually the ones I like do.

Highlights

- Watching the early arrivals (you know who you are) queue in the pouring rain....from the comfort of the pub window. 

- Robbie’s entrance and Let Me Entertain You. Wow.

- The five together for The Flood.

- Finishing onEight Letterswhich is now my favourite Take That song.

- Take That may get the higher profile across other countries and not just the UK and Ireland.

- The Pet Shop Boys. Loved them. Always wanted to see them live and this brief introduction left me wanting a full show.

Lowlights

The roof....although it kept us dry I did feel the sound was a little 'tinny' at times. Was I the only one?

- A fabulous show but make sure to get in the right position. Half way down the walk way near to the stage was a great position for us apart from when viewing songs from behind the band. They spent a lot of time out in the centre b-stage. Still great but it probably would have been better if we had been further back.

Why did Robbie go back to Take That?  Only because his solo career was failing? Well a million selling album in the UK (before the reunion was announced) would suggest otherwise.....and remind me again what happened with the solo careers of Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason?? Those four definitely need Take That....A newly married, newly happy, fully confident, Robbie might not. The four piece Take That make it work. I have a lot of respect for them. They are each talented individuals but only really work fully when all together. What will the future bring? Well I would certainly like to see them do more albums together as a four piece and a five piece....but who knows?

This was a great gig. Highly enjoyable. Loved it. After the show though I had the feeling that what I really wanted now was to see a full Robbie Williams tour. 

So which camp are you in?

Ticket: July 18th 2011

Ticket Price: €69.00

Set Lists:

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/take-that/2011/arena-amsterdam-netherlands-53d0bb71.html

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/pet-shop-boys/2011/arena-amsterdam-netherlands-53d0bb7d.html