I had expected eager anticipation amongst the audience for this reunion show, but what I got was rabid excitement.
The Arena was packed to the rafters with a vociferous crowd (actually in 15 years of going to the Arena, I have never known a louder one). The age range was mainly late teens to early twenties therefore they were the fans who came to see Steps first time around.
Having said that, there were some older people there – probably those who accompanied the younger fans first time around and decided they liked Steps.
It was a clever opening to the show, with the five members seemingly being brought out of suspended animation.
When Lisa, Faye, Claire, Lee and H stepped out of their cubicles onto the stage, the place erupted.
It was full-on entertainment from the word go, colourful costumes, brilliant dancers and the five Steps giving their all.
We were not disappointed in the choice of songs – all the hits were played and all the familiar dance steps were in evidence.
For the most part, the crowd was on it’s feet and dancing along to the moves that they had learned when the group ruled the charts.
Deeper Shade of Blue, Better Best Forgotten, 5-6-7-8, The Devil You Know were enthusiastically received along with other hits (I won’t list ‘em all – you know ‘em), before a slight change in focus and each band member in turn had a short solo spot.
Lee’s Move Like Jagger was up first, but for me H’s interpretation of Don’t Stop Believing was excellent, he even interacted with the backdrop animations with choreography that must have been rehearsed to the ultimate degree.
Then they were all back.
Seven more hits (they sang 16 in total), including The Way You Make Me Feel, One For Sorrow, Stomp and Chain Reaction, followed before they left the stage.
The noise from the crowd was an almost physical entity by this time, and Steps returned to sing Tragedy, which of course received the biggest ovation of the night.
All in all, the singing and dancing was fantastic, showing just how much work had gone into the production.
Such was the demand for tickets for the show, that another Manchester date has been added to the itinerary for later this month, and they are doing a summer tour.
It was first class entertainment from start to finish and there were a lot of happy people in Manchester.