Gary Barlow has spoken of his joy at being back on stage again after kicking off his 2021 solo tour at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
The multi award-winning frontman of Take That gave local fans the Greatest Day with a Christmas cracker of a show on Saturday night — the first of 16 in 14 cities around the UK and Ireland.
Barlow performed a string of hits from his three-decade career including Take That favourites Shine, Never Forget, Back For Good and Relight My Fire, and showcased songs from his latest album, Music Played By Humans.
There were also a few Christmas songs to get the audience in the festive spirit including Sleigh Ride, with Barlow dressed for the occasion in a seasonal suit of bright red.
The singer was joined by special guest Leona Lewis, who thanked him for supporting her throughout her own career.
The Cheshire man was in great form as he belted out hit after hit and the gig-goers were clearly delighted to welcome him back to Belfast, singing along at the top of their lungs.
Barlow later thanked the fans for showing such Patience in waiting for live music to return after almost two years of lockdown restrictions on indoor concerts.
Posting on Twitter he said: “Well what a night we had — there were times in the last two years when it felt like we’d never see and feel this again.
“Last night we did. Every one of us. What an audience. Thank you.”
He also paid tribute to all the people who had helped make the tour happen: the band, dancers, crews, promoters and managers.
“It’s such a long list and we’re all so happy to be back doing what we love,” he wrote.
Fans praised Barlow for putting on an “incredible” show and for two hours of “non-stop entertainment”. And they also thanked Lewis for her “amazing” performance.