Take That at BST Hyde Park
They’re back. After four years, Take That shout their call to arms, ready for their headline performance at the annual British Summer Time festival. Their fans, dutifully, report back. And they too are shouting, and giddily showing off their TT t-shirts, glittery makeup, flower crowns and bright outfits. Trying to get close to the stage to get a better view of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen turns into a wading through a sea of excited faces, mostly 90s teenagers escaping their daily routine for one nostalgia-filled day of bliss. A warm dwelling in memories of more carefree times. And their idols do not disappoint.
Take That know what their loyal army wants to hear, and cleverly play all their greatest anthems, including Back for Good, Greatest Day, A Million Love Songs, How Deep is Your Love, and one of the highlights, the deeply emotional Pray, the anthem of many 90s kids’ adolescent days. Despite the long hiatus, the magical three sing their hearts out, and fearlessly recreate all their signature dance moves. Pop music at its best.
Calum Scott is the first special guest to join them on stage for a remake of Greatest Day, followed by Scott’s famously heart-melting cover of Robyn’s Dancing on My Own, to which the former Britain’s Got Talent contestant owes his success. And speaking of special guests, the crowd roars and erupts in cheers when Lulu comes out to sing Relight My Fire, a powerful cover of the disco song written by the late Dan Hartman. For a moment, it’s 1993 again, and everything’s fine.
During the concert, Barlow and Owen also read out some of the several signs and banners that the people in the front are holding up, including the hilarious, “This song is older than us”. Equally hilarious is Owen’s response; amused, he admits that that’s probably true for a lot of their songs. But the most powerful moment of the concert comes shortly after this. The band reads a banner held up by a woman called Laura, which says: “Today is my greatest day, I made it through cancer”. The following song, The Garden, is dedicated to her.
Back in the radio days, Take That fans didn’t have to go on Spotify searching for the band’s greatest hits – the songs would inevitably find them. Today, however, at least for a day they get to see them perform at Hyde Park, even enjoying some fireworks at the end. To see thousands of happy faces singing along to some of the tunes that made the history of pop music, holding their hands up, while being showered in confetti, is a truly magical, heart-warming moment.
Photos: Dave Hogan
For further information and future events visit Take That at BST Hyde Park’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Pray here: