Review: Take That Wonderland at Carrow Road in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
Take That well and truly partied in their first ever Norwich concert - and so did the 26,000 fans who came to watch.
The atmosphere was simply electric from the moment they kicked off their Wonderland show with the title track of their new album, right through to the firework finale at the end as they sang Rule the World while the crowds' mobile phones turned the stadium into a magical starlit sky.
For me, my absolute highlight actually came right at the very beginning with a close encounter with Mark Owen that I'll never forget.
As the opening to Wonderland began, Mark, Gary and Howard popped up in three different areas of the audience and I was lucky enough to be sitting right by the steps where Mark made his entrance.
The crowds close by went wild as he ran into the stadium, stopping just metres away and giving us what felt like our own exclusive concert for the opening lines of Wonderland before running off to join his fellow band members in the main stage in the centre of the pitch.
Next up was The Greatest Day, with Gary eager to get the whole crowd singing and dancing.
'We have 26,000 people here and we want to hear you sing!' he shouted, and the crowds most definitely obligued.
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In total Take That played 25 songs from their vast back catalogue - a mix of songs from the new Wonderland album and lots of their classics including Patience, Pray and Back for Good which got some of the biggest cheers of the night.
'Can we take the nice people of Norwich to 1992?' said Mark at one point, to which Gary replied, 'Wait a minute wasn't that when music changed forever with the album Take That and Party!' before the band launched into old school album track Satisfied as part of a medley of songs through the years which also included Beautiful World, Wait, Love Life and How Deep Is Your Love.
As well as the music, Wonderland was also about show-stopping spectacle, and there was lots of it.
'Norwich, welcome to the heart of Wonderland,' said Mark as the entire stage bloomed into a brightly coloured flower for the songs New Day and Shine, meanwhile in another point in the show the most magical of aerial fairground carousels appeared from on high with Mark, Gary and Howard circling the crowds below as they sung It's All For You.
Some of the other amazing highlights saw Take That singing The Flood underneath the most striking of waterfalls, being surrounded by fiery tribal spectacle for the up-tempo Relight My Fire, and circled by sublime aerial acrobats for the ballad Hope.
And as dusk fell Mother Nature also played her own special role in the show, turning Carrow Road into the most dramatic of settings.
After the crowds had one last dance to Cry and These Days, it was time for Take That to say goodbye, but not before everyone joined in with the anthems Never Forget and Rule the World, and fireworks burst from the stadium rooftop.
'Norwich, what a night, what a crowd, we hope to see you again soon,' said Gary as the band bid farewell.
It was the perfect end to the most phenomenal night in our fine city.