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Robbie Williams live at The O2 Arena, London - review

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Robbie Williams Plays First Night At London O2 Arena

© Robbie Williams Live/Getty Images


"This is going to fit right in in huge areas with thousands of people staring at me," Robbie Williams said of his new album Take The Crown earlier this year. Naturally, the collection stormed to number one in the UK - despite some lacklustre support from BBC Radio 1 - and so it was time for the star to prove his claim at London's O2 Arena last night (November 23).

The buzz of 20,000 people escalated into manic screams as Robbie fought his way through the crowd and onto the stage at the centre of the arena. Seconds later the guitars started to grumble and the beats kicked in for opening number 'Let Me Entertain You'; a song that has become his trademark intro. As he bounced around feeding off the adulation around him, he tested his God-like ability to whip up a frenzy with a point of his microphone.

"I gotta good feeling about tonight's gig," he told the masses, before he asked: "Anybody in the mood to hear a number one hit record?" True to his word, latest chart-topper 'Candy' was made for arenas. Pomping brass and the earworm hook of "Hey ho, here we go," induced unified chanting and arm-waving. Even fellow new cuts 'Gospel' and 'Be A Boy' filled every cubic centimetre of the venue with their soaring guitar riffs and high-flying choruses.

However, with Take The Crown still in its infancy, it's no surprise the more versed hits remain the favourites. Glitterballs in the shape of Robbie's head descended for 'Rock DJ', while 'Bodies' was accompanied by projected skeletons. Along with 'Millennium', 'Come Undone' and 'Feel', the star's impressive back-catalogue continues to be as big as his ego, and just as alluring.

A guest appearance from longtime collaborator Guy Chambers on the piano offered Robbie the chance to flex his vocal muscles. Renditions of classic slowies 'Eternity' and 'She's The One' (which Rob introduced as the "best song we've ever written") accentuated his rare star-quality of being able to keep an audience enchanted with both the jump-around anthems and the heart-tugging balladry.

An encore of new single 'Different' and classic hit 'Angels' prompted a mass sing-along, while the crowd swayed arm-in-arm. The latter was dedicated to Robbie's new-born daughter and reminded us that he has come a long way from his rebellious youth. Nevertheless, that spark - which gained him his legion of followers - is shining brighter than ever, as he maintains his position as one of the world's greatest live entertainers.



Watch the music video for Robbie Williams's 'Candy' below:

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