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Take That vs Kings of Leon

Two fans tell us what they thought of last week's two big concerts. Georgina Hague sings along with Manchester's favourite man-band, while Phil Martin rocks out with the Kings of Leon

Written by . Published on June 29th 2009.

Take That vs Kings of Leon

Take That at Lancashire County Cricket Ground, Saturday 27 June

Take That are renowned for amazing their audiences, but with an album named Circus you wonder whether they'll live up to their reputation for delivering some of the greatest shows on Earth.

Mark, Howard and Jason showed off their unicycle skills while Gary trailed behind on a tricycle.

This is Take That’s third tour since reforming; their previous ones established them as the biggest comeback kids of all time. So how would Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard top them this time?

After a torrential downpour, and Lady Ga Ga's unexplained cancellation, the fans weren't in the best of moods as they waited for the boys to arrive. But that soon changed once they entered the stage and started singing 'Greatest Day'. The whole of Lancashire County Cricket Ground went crazy, with even the men who had been dragged along by their girlfriends looking strangely excited.

With two stages and an entire circus of performers, the show was jaw-dropping. The middle stage was where Take That took residence for the first part of the show along with circus acts and dancers who were so good that you'd be happy enough paying to see them alone.

For the second part of the show, they moved to the main stage where trapeze artists and a huge, mechanical elephant appeared. Mark, Howard and Jason showed off their unicycle skills while Gary trailed behind on a tricycle, showing that he can always poke fun at himself.

The set list included songs new and old, with solos from each of the boys proving that it’s not just Gary who has the singing talent. Howard was only given one solo – which might say something about the strength of his voice.

The highlight of the evening was 'Relight My Fire'. A giant inflatable ringmaster, dancers with leashes on, and disco diva Loleatta Holloway (who sang the original 1970s version) belting out the solo.

The show finished with a new fans' favourite: 'Rule the World'. The whole crowd joined in with the boys, and a spectacular fireworks display wowed us one last time.

It was an outstanding performance. Tickets weren't cheap at about £50 a go – but we got a money-can't-buy show in return.

Listen to the playlist here

Kings of Leon, MEN Arena, Monday 22 June

Kings of Leon rode back into Manchester last Monday to confirm their status as rock royalty to a packed out and very sweaty MEN Arena.

“I’ve never screamed, sweated and sang so much in my life.”

By the time charismatic front man Caleb Followill broke into his first vocal on 'Be Somebody', taken from the latest album Only by the Night, the crowd were in a frenzy. What followed was a near two hour journey through the band’s career with a set that blended the southern-infused garage rock of the early, heavier days with the more melodic, folk-inspired, arena pleasers of today.

The now neatly bearded lead vocalist admitted on stage to having “felt shit all day” but added that just seeing the crowds had immediately perked him up. For this self-confessed 'live band', the big gig is clearly their place to shine. Kings of Leon owned the MEN stage from start to finish, despite not particularly engaging with the crowd.

But you go for the music, not the chat. And the screaming females made it clear that this front man could do nothing wrong. As the worshippers jumped with fists clenched, Caleb bellowed out barely-decipherable lyrics in the Deep South style that has become one of the defining traits of the Kings’ distinct brand of atmospheric rock.

Even the newcomers in the crowd knew all the words to 'Sex on Fire', 'Use Somebody' and 'Closer'. But this was a gig for everyone, with the King’s harking back to the classic 'Molly’s Chambers' from their first EP. Whilst the more experienced Leon-ites out there might prefer the more intimate days and darker tones of the breakthrough album Youth and Young Manhood, there’s no doubting that the band’s recent anthems have cemented them into the hearts of the Mancunian masses.

A five minute wait for the encore seemed like an eternity but the Kings eventually re-appeared to launch into 'Slow Night, So Long'. They finished the night off with 'Black Thumbnail'.

For many music analysts, Kings of Leon's popularity in the UK was instrumental in establishing them globally. On last Monday's evidence, Manchester has clearly done its bit. The night was summed up perfectly by one female voice at the end of the gig: “I’ve never screamed, sweated and sang so much in my life,” she said in the reluctant push to get out. “When are they next playing Manchester?”

Listen to the playlist here

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 29th 2009.

Did you give them your number Dig?

ClareJune 29th 2009.

That That were FANTASTIC on Friday, I cannot imagine anyone, never mind Kings of Leon, putting on a better show. The guys were looking gorgeous, the songs were brilliant and she stage show was amazing! 12 out of 10.

AnonymousJune 29th 2009.

You're right, Cliff Richard's in a totally different league

DidsburyGirlJune 29th 2009.

Take That were bloody amazing, I went on the Friday and I swear it was the best performance Ive seen them do since the comeback. I was with a friend who was meant to be seeing Kings of Leon and couldn't make it at the last minute, she was completely gutted, but said that Take That almost made up for it

Peter RivendellJune 29th 2009.

Howard did two songs - What Is Love? and his usual Never Forget. He's probably the second best singer in the band so don't take pops at Howard!Take That were great and it was a stunning show - but £50 a ticket is far from expensive by anyone's standards.

DigJune 29th 2009.

Comparing Take That to Kings of Leon? Would you compare Jimi Hendrix to Cliff Richard? Same difference.

BenJune 29th 2009.

I'd pay to see them do a full on routine to Sex on Fire - that would quite possibly the most hilarious three minutes in musical history

DigJune 29th 2009.

Great bands to see live if you get a chance are Zero 7 and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Totally different styles and appearance but both amazing live. It was difficult to keep my eyes on the stage with 2 lesbians snogging in front of me all through the Zero 7 gig.

AnonymousJune 29th 2009.

What abour Blur???? I saw them on Friday and they were awesome!Take That rocked on Sunday, visually Take That had it but Blur were just so good on Friday. Well done lads. Damon and Alex both still hot after all these years

emma graceJune 29th 2009.

That's the thing though Clare; you wouldn't go to a Kings of Leon concert for a "show". With all due respect to BOTH bands I think they are far too different to compare. I went to see Kings of Leon last time they were in Manchester and I can honestly say it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. All they do is stand there and perform their songs. But that's what you go for. They wouldn't be Kings of Leon if they did anything else. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Caleb.....

DigJune 29th 2009.

Yep. It worked too. I'm officially a lesbian as well now.

MissBoobyJune 29th 2009.

I went to KOL on the Tues. I've seen them 3 times before - with each album release and to be honest wasn't looking forward to a big venue, but it was still amazing. I do prefer the smaller gigs but if you want a band you love to be successful, they will have to play the bigger shows too, I didn't mind, the gig was awesome. and the encore was about 30 minutes long, result!! Unlucky for those that left at the interval though......TT, I went to the comeback shows as the first gig I ever went to was Take That live at the Manchester Nynex at a very young age, I wouldn't compare them though - As has been mentioned, KOL is a gig, TT is a show

Gaynor EdwardsJune 29th 2009.

Take That were Amazing the show blew me away I went Friday night with the girlies we had drinks at Dukes 92 squashed on the tram to the stadium the weather was Fab and the show was Excellent !!!!!Worth every penny !!

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