Take That gave a spectacular performance in Munich’s venerable Olympic Stadium for 68.000 fans on the final concert of their “Progress Live 2011” European tour.
15 years after the split up, Take That’s original lineup reunited in 2010 for an album. After Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange had already had their own four-strong comeback, another tour together with founding member Robbie Williams followed.
As was to be expected, the public transport systems going to the Olympic Park were highly frequented. In the Stadium itself lines at the concession stands were tolerable and even admission with personalised tickets went smoothly. During the concert though one unfortunately had to accept beverage shortages and waiting a little longer.
The electropop pioneers Pet Shop Boys received a sympathetic reception upon opening the evening. Then Take That played songs from the two albums that were recorded without Robbie in a four-piece formation for about 30 minutes. Mr. Williams followed with a 40-minute solo show after which it was Take That’s turn to play their biggest hits as a fivesome. The audience was entertained for a good 2-1/2 hours by the band, including the encore.
Hardly surprising was the number of women in the audience, but still about one-third of the visitors was male. The average age was mainly end-20s to end-30s - from exactly the generation that grew up with Take That or were teenagers in the nineties. Correspondingly most in the audience knew all the text, whether old or new Take That songs. Then and now, loud shrieks and squeals of delight accompany every song - almost as if no one aged in the meantime.
The band presented itself harmoniously and ventured out to the first rows for high-fives with the audience. The elaborately produced show reminded one more of a musical than of a concert at some points.
Bottom line: an abundance of enthusiastic fans, a wide selection of songs from the band’s catalog and - for those who were there solely for Robbiiiiiieeee, the round Solo Set of the Rock DJ himself.