Wednesday, 25 April 2012

It's time to begin, now count it in... 5, 6, 7, 8!

When I was a kid, Steps were one of the biggest groups in the UK. I knew all the dance moves, had all the music and the lyrics were burnt into my brain. When I heard they were touring again, I practically squealed like a little girl. Tickets were purchased, a hotel was booked and train tickets ordered and soon me and my friend Sophie were on our way to Birmingham.
After an uneventful train journey, an eventful journey around Birmingham trying to find the hotel, a quick dash to get changed and a speedy taxi ride to the LG Arena we discovered not only were we on time, we were early and had to sit through Kamaliya, who sounded like a dodgy entry on the Eurovision song contest. Before Steps came on stage, they played music videos by their favourite artists. It was a nice touch and I wish they'd had that instead of any support artists, rather than as well as. 
Then finally, they arrived. Steps used their background screen to full advantage and started off with a vault door, the numbers counting down until it exploded open, and five pod like tubes appeared on stage, inside each of them a member of Steps. The crowd went absolutely wild, seriously, screams of absolute joy and excitement. I'll admit, I was one of them. 
Just after You'll Be Sorry
After the first few songs with a distinctly science fiction theme, we moved on to the biggest dance game ever. Each part of steps took a part of the audience, which had a certain dance move to do. Then they performed some of their biggest dance hits, wrapping it up with 5, 6, 7, 8. Deeper Shade of Blue was amongst this lot, and I was proud to say that I remembered all of the moves (ish!) and had the best time of my life doing them. I was there with a load of Steps fans, doing the dance moves and for once, I was not cheesy! Seeing the whole crowd do the same moves all at the same time was brilliant. But Steps did cop out a bit, leaving us to watch YouTube like videos while they went to get ready for the next part. 
Following that was Better The Devil You Know, outfits were changed to red and sultry and frames were placed on the stage. The song was mashed up with Lady Gaga's Judas, which was a genius move. They're obviously a big fan of the woman in question and both songs worked brilliantly together. All this was rounded off with a bit of fire throwing, as you do before they moved on to the next stage of the so far exciting, but quite tiring night.
Claire's solo performance of I Surrender
Up next was the solo section. Each member took to the stage by themselves to give us something 'specially for you' as they said. It started off with Lee doing a mash up of Moves Like Jagger and S&M. He isn't the strongest vocalist, but every single woman in the crowd screamed like teenage girls when he appeared on stage, red shirt wide open. The mash up worked brilliantly as well. Following him was Faye, with Dreamgirls number, One Night Only. The backdrop was filled with beautiful images of her and she sang brilliantly, accompanied by some lovely looking lads in pink hot pants. Then there was H, he sang Don't Stop Believin', which I was a little worried about to start with, but the crowd adored it, singing along to every word. His performance very cleverly used the background, to make it appear that he was catching rain drops and being fired across it. Lisa followed him, and she did some dance tracks that I didn't recognise. I didn't enjoy it as much as the others, simply because that's not my kind of music, but at one point she wore some fantastic wings, that looked incredible. And as always, they really saved the best for last. Claire is by far the best singer, and her performance of I Surrender was simply stunning. It was just her, in a beautiful gown and sparks showering down. That was all she needed. 
One For Sorrow
Following the solo section, they sang a selection of slower songs, such as The Way You Make Me Feel and Heartbeat, rounding it up with One For Sorrow. To be honest, it was a welcome relief to sit down for a few minutes and just listen to them. Their harmonies were lovely and the slower songs are some of my favourites. 
The final part of the concert was basically Disco hits. There was a costume change into neon colours and sequins and they performed Chain Reaction, Dancing Queen, and finally for their epic encore, Tragedy. It really was epic. To see a whole crowd doing the whole dance routine. As the others, the moves came back in a flash and it was an absolute thrill to be in sync with the rest of the audience, singing out hearts out.
Steps were never well known for their touching song lyrics, or originality, but there is one thing they are the Kings and Queens of, and that is fun. Even if you're not a fan, you can't leave the arena without having had a fantastic time. They definitely know how to put on a show, and a smile on your face.
Chain Reaction

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