Having followed Robbie Williams for most of my life seeing him for the second time in the Etihad Stadium was never a no go even after the Manchester Arena terror attack.
The singer started his Friday night show at the Etihad Stadium by telling the crowd “we are Manchester and we are not f***** scared”.
Around 50,00 fans arrived the stadium for the first of his two huge open-air shows taking place this weekend to watch the king of pop and light entertainment .
During the show the star changed the words to the chorus of Strong in support of Manchester, singing: “Manchester we’re strong, we’re strong, we’re strong, we’re still singing our songs, our songs’ while also dedicating his number one hit Angels to those who died in the attack at the Arena on Monday May 22, following an Ariana Grande show which clearly chocked him up needing the audience to get him through.
He due to entertain fans with an array of hits from across his three decades-long career, including his recent album The Heavy Entertainment Show, which saw him become the UK’s best-selling British solo artist.
However last week’s horror arena attack emotions ran high as Robbie took to the stage at the Etihad Stadium where he put on a performance to show the world that Manchester will stand strong and will not let terrorism put them off living a normal life.
Arguably Manchester’s most famous adopted son since his days with home-born Take That, the superstar took to the stage with a defiant declaration: “We are Manchester and we’re not f***ing scared.”
After starting with the Heavy Entertainment Show – the song which has given his tour its name – what followed was a mix of old and new songs spanning his 30-year career.
There were plenty of references to his old band too – about the good old days when they ‘worked hard and played hard’ – and the crowd clapped in unison to the old favourite Never Forget.
Robbie’s undoubtedly mellowed with age and with humorous anecdotes about time spent with his own two children and his dad joining him on stage for a duet of Sweet Caroline, it’s clear that it’s his family that matters now more than ever.
He joked about being high on drugs – this time to help his bad back – and mentioned growing old more than a couple of times. 43 years old he’s still got that cheeky charm with the ability to have a 50,000 strong crowd hanging off his every word.
He also paid tribute to George Michael with a rousing rendition of Freedom.
This gig wasn’t just about watching Robbie perform though as I’ve said before. It was about showing the world that Manchester will fight on, regardless.
Changing the lyrics to his hit song Strong, he sang: “Manchester we’re strong, we’re strong, we’re strong.
“We’re still singing our songs, our songs, our songs.”