Take That prove they still rule the pop world with spectacular AO Arena gig

Pop legends Take That performed the second night of their five date run at the AO Arena last night – and it was everything fans dreamed of and more.

After a dramatic week when it looked like the shows wouldn’t be going ahead after the failed opening of the crisis-hit £365 million Co-op Live arena, seeing them on stage felt like even more of a treat.

Their first Manchester gigs in five years were plunged into chaos with fans dreading the prospect of the gigs being postponed until the AO Arena stepped in and offered to host the concerts.

And the trio, made up of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, made no secret of the fact they were thrilled to be back on their home turf and thanked all their team for pulling it off at the last minute.

Earlier in the week, AO Arena’s general manager Jen Mitchell told The Independent they had just 48 hours to get everything in place, making it all the more impressive.

Support act Olly Murs kicked things off with a cracking set of his chart-topping hits, but the excitement when Take That walked on stage was palpable.

With screams and cheers from the thousands of fans packed into the arena – which seats 23,000 at full capacity – they walked on stage on one of their new tracks Keep Your Head Up.

Another new song, Windows, followed before they launched into some of their 90s classics including Sure, A Million Love Songs and Everything Changes.

Other iconic tracks included their first ever number one hit Pray, Relight My Life – complete with pyrotechnics – Never Forget and Back for Good.

Despite all that, no-one was prepared for the lads taking to the stage clad like spacemen in silver cloaks, walking across a bridge suspended from the arena rafters.

Belting out Greatest Day as they strode across to a smaller stage at the back of the venue, giving even more concert-goers the chance to see them up close had fans singing along and sobbing at the same time.

The whirlwind two hours came to a sensational climax with Rule the World from 2007 and then it was all over, leaving fans hoping it won’t be another five years before the boys are back in Manchester.

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