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Spectacular:Take That kick off Progress tour in front of stunning backdrop of 60ft man, acrobatics and towering wall of water
By ANDREA MAGRATH
©Spectacle: Take That stormed the stage in Sunderland tonight for the first concert in their Progress tour
They will perform in front of 1.75 million ecstatic, screaming fans across the UK and Europe in the next two months.
And Take That have lived up to the enormous expectations of their fans by kicking off the first night of their tour in spectacular fashion.
The band took to the stage tonight in Sunderland in front of a 60ft mechanical man.
The most eager of the 54,000 fans at the Sunderland Stadium of Light have been camping out ahead of tonight's performance.
Security guards had to hold the screaming devotees back as they scrambled for the best spot in front of the stage.
And they were not disappointed - as these pictures show, the stunning show features a jaw-dropping backdrop, pyrotechnics and acrobatics.
©Emotional: The Progress tour sees Robbie Williams reunited with the band in concert for the first time in 15 years
Performers climb a towering wall of water above the stage as the band belt out all of their hits.
Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason kick off the show with their post-Robbie hits Rule The World, Greatest Day, Hold Up A Light, Patience and Shine.
But the crowd roared its approval when Williams was lowered on the stage to commence a series of his solo smash hits.
©No expense spared: The band will perform across the country in front of a spectacular backdrop representing the cover of their progress album
An emotional Robbie thrilled the audience with Let Me Entertain You, Rock DJ, Come Undone, Feel and Angels.
Then it was time for the reunited five-piece to come together for their first single following Williams re-joining the band, The Flood.
The biggest cheers were reserved for the moment that the original Take That returned to the stage together for the first time in concert in 15 years.
©
Reunion: Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard open the show before welcoming Robbie onstage
All of the favourites including crowd-pleasing medleys of Million Love Songs and Babe, and Everything Changes and Back For Good were sung.
Pray, Never Forget and their latest single Love Love followed. The thrilling event ended with Relight My Fire and Eight letters.
The first night of the tour follows 12 weeks of gruelling rehearsals at an aircraft hanger in Bedfordshire.
©Excitement builds: Fans are already lining up outside the arena in Sunderland ahead of tonight's concert
The Progress Live Tour 2011 is thought to be costing upwards of £15 million to stage and has 287 crew travelling across Europe.
Following a four-night stay in Sunderland, the band will play eight nights in Manchester before moving on to Cardiff, Dublin and Glasgow.
The boys will then play in Birmingham before completing their nation-wide tour with eight nights at Wembley arena in London.
It's not over then though, Take That have added dates across the continent, including Milan, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. The tour will end in Munich on July 29.
©Eager: Fans camped out to secure a good spot in the 54,000-strong crowd
The two-month tour will suit Robbie Williams, who has complained in the past that he is not cut out for the lengthy tours other artists undertake.
'I just went on tour for too long before,' he said said previously. 'I'm not the kind of person who can do nine months.
'I can do two months solid, not a problem. But nine months - I'm not built for it. I go loopy.'
©Futuristic: Take That have unveiled the video for their new single Love Love
For those fans who have to wait for the band to come to town, they have satisfied appetites by releasing a brand new video for the latest single Love Love.
The track features in the upcoming blockbuster X Men: First class, released in the UK next week.
The video opens with a thumping bass line and the boys standing in the centre of a vast futuristic space.
© Blockbuster: The single features in the new X Men: First class film
The boys are surrounded by dancers clad in black bodysuits with cobweb-style string masks.
The video was filmed beneath a huge canopy in West London.
Love Love was shot by Alex Large and Liane Sommers, the team behind Cheryl Cole's Parachutes, Kylie Minogue’s Get Outta My Way and Scissor Sisters Laura videos.
The single is the fourth from the Progress album, following The Flood, Kidz and Happy Now, which was released in March.
©The video opens with a thumping bass line and the boys standing in the centre of a vast futuristic space
Take That - Love Love

source: dailymail