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