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A night with 90s legends Take That ahead of their Middlesbrough arrival

Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds. <i>(Image: Adam Kennedy)</i>

Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds. (Image: Adam Kennedy)

Pop icons Take That arrived in Leeds on Wednesday night for the first of four shows at the First Direct Arena ahead of their highly anticipated return to the Riverside next month.

The group opened their current This Life tour in Sheffield at the weekend, and after a couple of days off, Gary, Mark and Howard were raring to return to the stage. A capacity crowd was in attendance to welcome the trio on their first visit to the city centre arena.

Following an opening set from Olly Murs, who also had cause for celebration following the arrival of his baby daughter this week, the Take That boys took to the stage. With the release of their ninth studio album This Life, last November, the group kicked off the show with Keep Your Head Up and Windows, both taken from their latest offering.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The group made a grand entrance at the top of the show. The trio appeared from underneath a parting staircase centre stage, as an abundance of white confetti spiralled throughout the huge arena. The opening sequence felt somewhat cinematic.

The funky and soulful sounds of Sure were most welcome early in the show.

But this was not just your average concert. On Wednesday evening, Take That put on a show. From early in the set, the three-piece walked their fans down memory lane in somewhat of a chronological fashion.

A Million Love Songs was the perfect number to take their fans back to the start of the band and their debut album. Whilst Gary, Howard and Mark narrated the story of Take That and their remarkable careers. I Found Heaven and Pray continued the story up until the group’s breakup in 1995.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

Following this, each member of the group got their moment in the spotlight to showcase tracks from their illustrious solo careers. Howard Donald even had the chance to perform Speak Without Words, a composition from his unreleased solo album.

The subsequent reunion era of the group was marked by the inclusion of Patience, The Flood and Get Ready For It. Before the show was brought up to date with a further run of tracks from the band’s latest offering This Life.

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Having sequenced the show in this manner, really highlighted the evolution of the Take That sound. It was nostalgic but also incredibly entertaining. The performance felt a bit like a rockumentary in places. There were elements of the show which would transition well into a play or musical about the band.

Pictures of the band:

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

The Northern Echo: Take That, This Life tour. First Direct Arena, Leeds.

Pictures: Adam Kennedy

The pop sensations are renowned for their huge productions and incredible live shows, and in Leeds, the fans got exactly that. From dancing water fountains in the style of The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas to a pyro-fueled rendition of the classic Relight My Fire, the band spared no expense on their impressive and somewhat opulent stage set.

Of course, the show would not be complete without Back for Good, Never Forget and Rule the World.

With Take That’s eagerly anticipated show on Teesside just a few weeks away, the talented trio certainly impressed in Leeds on their route to the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough on the 24th of May.

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