............................................................................................................................... .. hot, in­ti­mate and en­tranc­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Lettersextra -

can’t es­cape the fact you’re sit­ting amongst 52,000 fans who are all chant­ing, singing and cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere that few will ever ex­pe­ri­ence again in their lives.

Yet, when Rob­bie Wil­liams hit the stage last week, he turned the bril­liant Sun­corp Sta­dium in Bris­bane into an in­ti­mate gig in front of a few old mates that just hap­pened to in­clude in­cred­i­ble py­rotech­nics and a mas­sive set.

The Bri­tish pop star lifted through the floor of the cat­walk and emerged from a blaze of fire­works and fire, with the heat so fierce it could be felt all the way up in the nose bleed sec­tion (where I was).

Launch­ing into a favourite from his Great­est Hits album, Ra­dio, Wil­liams au­to­mat­i­cally had the au­di­ence in the palm of his hand when he re­moved his jacket to re­veal a Bris­bane Li­ons AFL jumper.

De­spite a cou­ple of peo­ple com­ment­ing that he should have known he was on NRL club the Bris­bane Bron­cos’home ground and not the Li­ons’, the roar was deaf­en­ing.

In typ­i­cal only-Rob­bie-could-get-away-with-it-style he then put one hand down his pants and cheek­ily asked Bris­bane if they could ‘feel me’in his ren­di­tion of Rock DJ.

Not sur­pris­ingly the crowd, which was nowhere near as fe­male dom­i­nated as I thought it might be, gave him a mas­sive cheer.

There is no doubt about it, the man has a pres­ence.

Whether Wil­liams’was en­er­get­i­cally parad­ing on stage and belt­ing out one of his hits or just sit­ting down to have a bit of witty ban­ter with the au­di­ence, ev­ery­one there that night, and I imag­ine at all his gigs around Aus­tralia, was to­tally en­tranced.

It’s at that point where you kind of for­get you are in a gi­ant sta­dium packed to the rafters with fa­nat­i­cal fans.

Don’t ask me ex­actly how he does it, but I guess that is why he is in the Guin­ness Book of World Records for most con­cert tick­ets sold in a sin­gle day at 1.6 mil­lion.

His nu­mer­ous No.1 sin­gles and al­bums could also have some­thing to do with it also, I sup­pose. In al­most 2½ hours the 32-year-old played as many of his count­less hits as pos­si­ble and even while there were a few that were dis­ap­point­ingly ab­sent, it was hard to find any rea­son to com­plain.

He even man­aged to top his en­trance dur­ing the four-song en­core, ap­pear­ing on top of the stage struc­ture and be­ing low­ered down amongst an­other stun­ning py­rotech­nic dis­play.

Af­ter Let Me En­ter­tain You, the Bris­bane leg of Rob­bie’s Close En­coun­ters Tour reached its cli­max and he drew the crowd fur­ther into his charis­matic charms with an emo­tional close to his world­wide and first solo hit An­gels.

Since his boy band days with Take That, Wil­liams has built him­self a rep­u­ta­tion as be­ing one on the most con­su­mate and crowd-pleas­ing en­ter­tain­ers in the world at the mo­ment.

It is hard to dis­agree.

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