Taking to the stage at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to a roar of approval from the adoring Irish audience, Robbie Williams kicked off his brand new Take The Crown stadium tour in style, wowing the crowd with his inimitable and unique brand of showmanship.
Fans were unsure what to expect after his high profile Take That reunion tour, however Robbie quickly dispelled any fears that he was past it and proving that he was well and truly deserving of the spotlight.
But first came the highly anticpated opening act Olly Murs, who did a fantastic job warming the audience up, getting them singing, dancing and on their feet with a 40-minute set containing some of his own hits including Army Of Two, Troublemaker and a infectious Earth Wind & Fire medley.
Then enter the main man. Rather than a simple, walk on entrance, Robbie milked the attention, bursting forth from the staging and flying down from atop a giant model of his own head. The audience were roaring, lapping it up. As was Mr Williams.
Kicking the set off with his trademark opening song Let Me Entertain You, Robbie blasted through a set of both old songs and new, ranging from early hits including She’s The One and Rock DJ, right up to Candy, the number 1 hit from his latest album Take The Crown.
There were many highlights of the opening gig, but the most unforgettable moments came when he selected a female audience member, brought her up on stage, and serenaded her with Take That’s Everything Changes, before whisking her into a bed (with the chat up line “you can trust me – I used to be a priest”), spooning with her and singing his solo hit Strong. The poor woman looked deliriously shell shocked. But then I’m sure most women (and probably a handful of men) would.
Olly Murs also returned to the stage to duet on Kids, a song Robbie originally dueted on with Kylie Minogue. The pair were having more than a little fun, dancing around the stage, playing around and obviously feeding of the audiences – and each others – energy.
Stripping it all back, Robbie also took to the guitar, and backed by only his backup singers he perform a surprisingly moving rendition of Millennium and Better Man. Ditching the guitar altogether he wooed the stadium with an acappella version of Sexed Up, with only gently harmonies backing him up him.
After the more subdued set of songs, Robbie kicked it back up a notch, rocking the audience through his concert staples, climaxing with a thunderous singalong of his poignant hit Angels, before taking his final bows and leaving the stage.
Irish reporter Claire O’Connor was at the concert and reported back about the nights’ whirlwind proceedings:
I don’t even know where to start! The concert was amazing and I loved every second of it! Walking up towards the Aviva Stadium, there were loads of people selling hats, scarves & t-shirts with Robbie and Olly on them. It really got us into the mood seeing their faces all over the place.
The weather wasn’t great, it was pouring rain, but when we went it and found our spot on the pitch in standing area 2 it didn’t matter. The place was buzzing. The Merchandise stands were cool too: t-shirts, wristbands, mugs, programmes, teddy bears, etc. You could even preorder a CD of the gig from the night and pick it up after the show!
Olly came on & he was fantastic. He really got the crowd jumping. He has some great dance moves and my sister thinks he has a lovely butt…so we were in our element! Then to get the crowd really going, and much to my delight, he sang an Earth, Wind and Fire medley which absolutely ROCKED! I love Earth Wind & Fire so I was really dancing around and singing like a loon. He was amazing!
Robbie was meant to be on at 8.30pm but he didn’t come on until just after 9pm (9.04pm to be exact – not that I was checking!) The music being pumped into the arena changed from current chart hits to The Candyman song from Willy Wonka and we knew he was getting ready to come out!
There was a massive ‘head’ built into the stage, just like the Take The Crown album cover, and after the band came out and the music started up, Robbie emerged on top of the head with a spotlight shining on him…he then jumped off the head, and down into the crowd, using a zipwire. VERY exciting stuff!
He started with Let me Entertain You, and from that point until he finished with Angels, I never stopped smiling. He is SUCH a showman!
Olly Murs came back out with Robbie to sing Kids, and two little kids, they looked about 10 to 14-ish, sang We Found Love as Robbie was dancing behind them. Also the girl he brought up on stage and sang to was so starstruck that she couldn’t even talk. That was cool, even if I was a little jealous. Crazy!
It was an amazing concert and an amazing production, with massive red and gold streamers being released and one of the heads releasing loads of balloons into the sky. But the highlight for me was when he sang a couple of acappella songs. It proved that despite the showmanship and everything, he still has a great, fantastic sounding voice, and he certainly entertained me!
Robbie Williams setlist
Hey Wow Yeah Yeah
Let Me Entertain You
Not Like The Others
Minnie The Moocher
Sin Sin Sin
Be a Boy
Me and My Monkey
She’s The One
Robbie Williams Take The Crown tour dates
14/06/2013 – Aviva Stadium, Dublin, ROI
18/06/2013 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
19/06/2013 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
21/06/2013 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
22/06/2013 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
25/06/2013 – Hampden Park, Glasgow, UK
26/06/2013 – Hampden Park, Glasgow, UK
29/06/2013 – Wembly Stadium, London, UK
30/06/2013 – Wembly Stadium, London, UK
02/07/2013 – Wembly Stadium, London, UK
05/07/2013 – Wembly Stadium, London, UK
10/07/2013 – Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
13/07/2013 – Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
17/07/2013 – Krieau, Vienna, Austria
20/07/2013 – Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden
22/07/2013 – Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
23/07/2013 – Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark
27/07/2013 – AWD-Arena, Hannover, Germany
31/07/2013 – Stadio San Siro, Milan, Italy
03/08/2013 – Koning Baudouinstadion, Brussels, Belgium
07/08/2013 – Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany
11/08/2013 – Mercedes Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
13/08/2013 – Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
16/08/2013 – Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, Switzerland
20/08/2013 – Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, Tallinn, Estonia
25/08/2013 – Viking Stadion, Stavanger, Norway