STEPS - The new tour, we checked it out and you'll love it!
It was a bitterly cold and damp Sunday night when the pop legends that are Steps kicked off their new tour at the SSE Arena in Belfast. We were beside ourselves with excitement as the lights went down in the arena, the stage lit up and the support act appeared. The Vengaboys. Whoever came up with the idea of them to get the crowd warmed up deserves a medal. We danced and sang along to classics like it was 1995! When they were over we were like a crowd of 11,000 excited teenagers waiting for Steps coming on.
The show kicked off with slightly dark and creepy masked, robed characters walking through the edge of the audience making their way to the stage with flaming torches in their hands. As they gathered on stage and the atmosphere was built up into a frenzy, appearing out of nowhere there they were, Steps were on the stage, the crowd went mad – and so the party started.
We’ve all been to concerts where the performers are so hooked on selling their latest album that they only throw in one or maybe two classic tunes as an appeasement to the audience. This was definitely not the case with Steps. There was mix of the classics that we love along with tracks off the latest album. They performed their first ever single 5,6,7, 8 in true Steps style, the stage was transformed in to some barn/cattle shed setting and those country heels got a-clickin’, we loved and soaked up every minute of the cheesiness – pure genius. For “Better Best Forgotten” they appeared half way up their video wall which was showing hypnotic, psychedelic, kaleidoscopic video, they belted out the tune to perfection while all the while on the screens above each of them silhouettes of dancers from a Pan’s People (ask yer mum) era danced and gyrated.
Slowing the tempo down; Lee, H, Faye, Claire and Lisa took to one corner of the stage and grouped together to perform “Heartbeat”, it was beautiful. The arena filled up with lights as the crowd held up their phones, hugged their loved ones and swayed to the tune. All together now – awwwwwww.
It was amazing to see and hear some of their new tunes come to life for the first time too. My personal favourite being Neon Blue, which has become a bit of a gay anthem. There was a long teasing intro but as soon as the back lights started to slip out the hint of the colour blue we knew what was coming. A beautiful song performed with heart-felt emotion, yet with optimism hope and true Steps style energy. I don’t think there was anyone in the audience who wasn’t singing along.
“Story of a Heart”, “No More Tears on the Dancefloor” and “Scared of the Dark” were all both a visual delight and a treat to the ears. Infectious in the best possible way. These are all destined to become future Steps classics.
Closing the show with Tragedy was slightly expected but it didn’t take anything away from the performance. Starting with Faye walking up the aisle in a stunning wedding gown to her waiting groom. The other four then appeared on the stage dancing on a massive wedding cake, it was noted and good to see that H’s dancing partner was a man – no whitewashing heteronormativity from Steps (another reason we love them). An amazing end to what was a truly uplifting show.
Check out www.stepsofficial.co.uk for details of upcoming shows