“A NIGHT to remember” was the verdict for the hordes of Take That fans who descended on the Stadium of Light.
Some wore fancy dress, some decorated themselves in Take That logos and some wore old tour merchandise, but all had one common aim: to see their idols perform as the original line-up.
Brothers Paul and Peter Waite from Washington were paying more attention than most.
As two-fifths of tribute band Re-Take That, they will be recreating last night’s show for their forthcoming gig at Rainton Meadows Arena in September.
Paul, 31, said: “The whole area has been absolutely buzzing about tonight.
“The DVD of the show won’t be coming out for a while so we will have to try and remember as much as we can from memory and camera to replicate the steps for our show.”
Pals Laura Downey, 23, and Nicola Taylor, 22, have been listening to the band rehearse all week from their homes in Roker.
Nicola said: “The last tour was one of the best we have seen so we had to come again. I’m not a big fan of Robbie’s but I’m glad he’s back and they’re all together again as they should be.
“This show is really putting Sunderland on the map.”
Tens of thousands of concert-goers from outside of Sunderland flocked into the city to see the eagerly-anticipated first night of Progress Live.
Among them were Marianne Foster, 35, Sue Swiderski, 54, and Katie Elliott, 28, who travelled up from Hull.
After the show, Sue said: “It was the best thing since seeing my children born. You had to see it to believe it.”
Marianne said: “It was fantastic having Robbie back, he is so entertaining. You could see them hugging him on stage and you could tell they were emotional.”
Maz Benton, 40, from Redcar was at the show with Shaz Gibson, 42, and Sue Hannon, 45, both from Middlesbrough.
Maz said: “The whole night was brilliant. The huge standing man was amazing. Having Robbie there was great, his poem was really funny.”
Shaz added: “Robbie’s really arrogant, but that’s part of the attraction. It was a night to remember.”
Helen Shepherd, 24, from Amble is such a big Take That fan that after seeing the first show. she went back outside to camp out for tonight’s performance to ensure a front row spot.
She said: “There’s nothing like being front row and having eye contact with them. Take That’s audience interaction is amazing. It’s worth the wait.”