When I woke up Christmas Eve day, I found a package on my desk.. sent by the glorious runningraindog (oh my god thank you so much!). Inside this package was my beloved Take That Presents Live at the Circus, a concert DVD for the concert spectacular that they threw this summer, starting in June and ending in July. This DVD has been highly anticipated for me since I love love love love love Take That, always have though my love for them has pretty much run the gamut throughout this year.
As a music group, this band is top of my list. Positive songs, beautiful and emotionally compelling and proving once and again that they can reach out to people with their words, their music and their energy. I couldn't be in England for the concerts but I could support them and by the DVD, besides I got the best seat in the house since only then could I actually see Howard grope Jason's ass rather vividly too.
I will put a little asterick by the recommended watches. (hey I'm always looking for new converts into the church of Take Thattery.)
The intro is one of the things that I regret them cutting out of the actual concert CD that I purchased as well. This song is good, certainly it has absolutely no singing by the boys but this song sets the entire mood for the concert and it's entertaining. Yes the group did have opening bands, but this is the concert opener, full of theatrics and dramatics. This is very whimiscal and precious and it's an excellent seque into the Take That concert. If you were wondering, yes the theme of this concert is a circus, and later on in the review, you're gonna see exactly WHY.
"And the world comes alive.."
Take That never just walks onto stage, no they arrive. Unfortunately I have no idea how they really got onto stage but it must of been impressive. There is so much energy in this song that is addictive and it really gets you psyched up for the concert. The boys are out there enjoying themselves, you can just feel it.. that it is indeed the greatest day of their lives. And the moment when everyone's arms go into the air is just one of the most breathtaking moments of this concert for me.
"Glad you took the time to say hello.."
This is a great song, I really like it, the moment I like though is something that is completely trivial and probably something that I would only understand (when Gary sings in a higher pitch "When I'm looking at you" and right after all the flowers and birds are swarming around the stage, it's a really minute thing to just get tickled over, but I attribute that to my virgoean nature, it's in the details man.). A very happy and fun song.
"Your my lifeline, angel of my lifetime,
Answer to answers I can find."
-Could it be Magic
This one is probably the one that I am most disappointed with if only because of the last concert. This song was how they originally sang it, but for the last tour they slowed it down and made it a beautiful ballad. If you listen to this song in this tempo and then listen to the last concerts version. Perhaps I just interpet it different, but once again I prefer the "Beautiful World Tour" version of it, well I can't be happy with everything on this concert DVD (even though I guarentee you that this IS excellent)
"But the morning comes to soon.. before I even close my eyes"
This is another song that is okay, I'm not happy with it but then I'm not unhappy with it either (because the last one was done so spectacularly) but it's still catchy and I realize that has everything to do with placement (in the last concert they did this at the very end). This is the song where they do a 'proper boy band dance' which means alot of going left and right, tons of choreography. It's a bit of raw, no props, just them singing and still a great song (and notice that the singer doesn't really do a whole lot of the movements, because he doesn't like to dance.) The energy is still infectuous and I'm still smiling the entire time.
"A million love songs later.. and here I am."
-A Million Love Songs
This is one of their old songs which is quite refreshing, last concert I was thrilled that they played "Sure", this time it's a Million Love Songs, which is quite cheesy and sappy but still a great love song nevertheless.
"Got a fist of pure emotion,
Got a head of shattered dreams..
Better leave it, better leave it all behind now"
-Back for Good
Chances are if anything, you will know this song, certainly it was the song that got me started on Take That back in the late 90s. A great classic song, great for a sing-a-long (though not the kind that Gary wants). This is a great placement for the song and I actually may prefer this version to the other, just because the other was too naked in my opinion.. and hey, the boys getting splashed by water, I have NO PROBLEM WITH THIS.
"This is the life we've been given, so open your heart and start living.."
WATCH THIS! WATCH THIS! WATCH THIS!
This is the true start of the concert, the theming comes in strongly here now. It's gorgeous, it seriously is and I'm impressed at the very grandiose way that Take That went from B stage to A stage. (for those of you who want incentive.. animatronic elephant. Nuff said)
WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT! /end
"You.. you're such a big star to me.."
I could say the same thing about this as the last one. Yes, this is also a watch because they put on a circus act in essence, with chinese acrobats, jugglers and everything.. it's just amazing and you're always seeing something knew when you watch it. Unfortunately this is one of those that probably looks better on High Def. So Take That have reached the meat and bones of their concert and they're ready to put on the greatest show on earth, and that they do. >.> Though his outfit is exactly why I think Mark may be some drugs that only he's aware of.. or something. (but Jason is quite alright, because the only atrocity is his pants.. and that can be excused because it gives us a good view of his arse.
"Oh maybe don't need you to save me,
Just want you to help me.. cause you're keeping me up all night"
-Up All Night
This song is perfect how it's done. It's intimate and they are the only ones up on that stage playing any music. No back up band, nothing. It's just them and the crowd which is amazing to me. (Did you know that in an effort to become less like a boy band and more like a real band, each of them picked up an instrument to play... and that is the fruits of their labour.)
"Sometimes we don't know what we're waiting for,
But that's the time to be the first one on the dance floor"
There are subtle differences in this one as to the last tour's one, but it isn't bad honestly. It's just a different and unique feel, but it's still a very low-key song, and it's sung by Jason who is an amazing vocalist in his own right, this song is a bit sad and a bit poignant.. but ofttimes the songs that are vocalized by Jason are very much introspective, usually not about relationships, but about one inner-thoughts in regards to them. It's probably why I just consider him very amazing in general and all of his songs strike deep chords with me.
"Thought I made it clear that I had always been a smiler.."
-How Did it Come to This?
THIS IS MY FAVORITE JASON SONG. I absolutely love this song and I was glad that they put this in the concert. A wonderful song and I have no words for it, except that I was thrilled. (nothing to really say)
"Cause everyone loves a circus show..
But I'm the only clown you'll ever know"
But before the song, Gary gets a sing-song. Being an accomplished pianist (and Elton John's protege) his home has always been at the piano, and he doesn't have to share the audience with anyone else except for him.. this of course lets the other band members have a little break and get ready for the next act. Then Gary launches into "The Circus" which is the title track of the album and a gorgeous song and he really wears the attention well (I hate the fact that song and the previous medley wasn't put on the CD, just because it's so beautiful.. my dissatisfaction with the CD content has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the entire show though.
"If love is truth then let it break my heart.."
-What is Love?
This is another favorite sequence of mine, the song is gorgeous and it starts another sub-stage of the circus. I don't want to give any of this away honestly, this was very masterful how they enacted this whole thing. *zips lips shut* also the prelude into the song goes back to the intro sequence and by this time you've heard several key-ins where they reference the song, I'm thinking they did this because it's the halfway mark (or close) and acts as intermission.
TAKE THAT BOYBAND MEDLEY
HILARITY ENSUES. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
They are making fun of what they sang way back when, all those cheesy pop songs. And in such a delightful way.
"Said it all.. nothing to say at all, nothing to say that matters."
-Said it All
This is a very poignant song as the mood goes from happy to sad, but it's the perfect idea and conceptual for this but it works with what they did on their music video which typifies 'sad clowns'. (Sad clown Howard just kills me honestly, it's that frownie that does it to me)
"We've come a long way, but we're not too sure where we've been.."
I like what they did better in the last concert but still it's not bad, it's just different. The energy is still there, but they couldn't really do it how they did last time because those animetronic elephants take alot to maintain. (And I've always liked this song that Howard sings, it's perhaps one of my favorites that he voices) And honestly, I can't imagine a concert in which they -don't- do this song, it's just that much a part of them.
"My heart is numb; has no feeling.. so what, I'm still breathing"
No strong feelings about this, but only because while I love singing along to this song (it's the way that the song hits high and then goes down like steps) but this song is one that I never get too enthusiastic about during concerts. It's a good song though and it's strong, just nothing to really get me excited about (It's no "How did it Come to This")
"Help me to escape this feeling of insecurity..."
-Relight my Fire
Myself and shuufish are both of the opinion that the other tour's version of this was stronger. It's still very very good! (and no that's NOT TIM CURRY, it's the ringleader from the concert -but- he does a good Tim Curry impression). It wouldn't be a Take That concert without at least ONE sequence featuring the sexualization of women, they sexualize themselves enough that honestly I don't worry about it too much (example: Jason and his pants) A bonus is that the woman who is singing in this concert is the actual singer of the song *since it was a song that came out in the 70s*, mad props to the boys for getting her to sing with them. (added note: this sequence makes me believe that Jason probably has sex with the dancers)
"And if life's your stage, I'll be watching..."
-Hold up a Light
They could not of 'not' done this song for the concert, it was just so very perfect for what they were set to do and when I saw the playlist and found this, I squee'd. This song is perhaps one of their most epic songs, and pretty much this is the wrap-up of the Circus, the grand finale of sorts (though they use two songs to spread over the full effect of this). A perfect seque into that final act which will close the curtains on their concert. *and the boys, they give their cast bows during this sequence*
"All the stars are coming out tonight, they're lighting up the sky tonight for you.. for you"
-Rule the World
I loved Pray for the outro for the last concert, but for this concert, this outro is perfect.. it fits the mood.. and the fireworks at the end are the perfect touch as it explodes across the sky. An epic choice and it makes you want to cry during it just because it's so beautiful and poignant and leaves you with a very pleasant taste in your mouth along with the melancholy that it's all over. (but not for me, I has the DVD! ahahaha)
There were some parts that I thought they could of done better, and some that I thought that they did spectacularly, but as a package deal, they did wonders with this show, the ammount of time and effort not to mention money was amazing. You get what you pay for and they got transcendance. While some points made me dissatisfied, it was glossed over by an aura of pure and simple enchantment that Take That has never failed to deliever to me over and over again.
If you've actually cared to watch any of these and want some of the songs, just drop me a comment and I'll be more then happy to share the goods. In all Take That is a wonderful band.. they displaced Duran Duran (as sad as that kinda is) and I don't think I'm unhappy with that.