By Aline Mahrud
WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN?: Saturday 27 November 2021. Last night of tour, next year gig details below
SETLIST (Sophie Ellis Bextor): Take Me Home; Get Over You; Lady; Groovejet; Sing It Back; Crying At The Discoteque; Like A Prayer; Muder On The Dancefloor
(Steps): What The Future Holds; One For Sorrow; Heartbreak In This City; Neon Blue; Take Me For A Ride; 5,6,7,8; After the Love Has Gone; Something In Your Eyes; Say You’ll Be Mine; Chain Reaction; It’s The Way That You Make Me Feel; Slightest Touch; A Hundred Years Of Winter; Last Thing On Your Mind; Stomp; Heartbeat; Better The Devil You Know; Love’s Got A Hold Of My Heart; Better Best Forgotten; Deeper Shade Of Blue; Here And Now; Scared Of The Dark; Tragedy
Steps proved what strength in depth they have tonight as Faye Tozer returned to the line-up after suffering from Covid which also meant bandmate Lee Latchford-Evans could not appear at this show.
- Read on for reasons including how good support Sophie Ellis Bextor was
We’re going to see Ellis Bextor headlining the London Palladium next year and we couldn’t have asked for a better warm up for Steps.
On at 7.30pm sharp she proved not only what a capable live singer she is but also how she wasn’t phased by this 14,000-strong arena crowd.
Our own personal favourite was a triumphant version of Madonna’s Like A Prayer because we’d not heard her do it before. She combined some interesting covers with her greatest hits to tee up a band we 1st saw live at Portsmouth Guildhall last century.
The What The Future Holds tour was advertised as featuring ‘all the hits’ and, while the band’s brand of uptempo optimism means they are just what we need in these pandemic times, we might have pruned lesser singles like After The Love Has Gone and Here And Now for a fuller exploration of their last 2 albums.
Steps’ musical theatre background (we saw Tozer recently in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and H’s Joseph years ago in the West End) means they really shine in live performance and know how to engage with arena-sized crowds.
The band’s return to glory after splitting up in the early years of this century is much down to the devotion of their fans, particularly the LGBT community which has taken them to its heart, but it wouldn’t have been possible without new albums containing original material on a par with the hits for which they are best known.
This may have been the What The Future Holds tour but we’d no idea that Covid would mean the cancellation of the final 2 shows in Cardiff and Bournemouth meaning this 2nd gig at The 02 was the tour’s last night.
Tragedy? Recently announced dates next summer in the tickets link immediately below.