Live review: Gary Barlow, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

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GARY Barlow was flying high on Saturday night as he put on an outstanding performance at the Metro Radio Arena as part of his solo UK and Ireland tour.

Smartly suited and booted, the former X Factor judge was welcomed on stage by a huge chorus of cheers.

He went on to put on a stunning show which featured classic Take That songs, solo material from his first album Open Road, as well as hits from his recent release, Since I Saw You Last.

Opening with the title track from the album, Barlow belted the new song out from a grand piano to his adoring fans.

When he followed with The Greatest Day, everyone was on their feet and singing along as canons of confetti showered those at the front of the audience.

Comical throughout, Barlow brought back trademark Take That dance moves during Pray and Relight My Fire, proving he has still got it.

Support act Eliza Doolittle joined him on stage to sing Shine, before a lucky lady in the crowd – who named her baby after Barlow – was brought on stage and serenaded by the star as he sang A Million Love Songs, which he wrote at the tender age of 15.

A swing section was included in the show, which gave Take That hits from the ‘90s such as Sure, Everything Changes and Could It Be Magic, a new lease of life.

An acoustic set proved a hit too as he stripped down versions of How Deep Is Your Love and Shame.

Barlow ventured into the crowd – who were grabbing him for hugs and kisses – as he made his way to a smaller stage at the rear of the venue.

There he did a medley of material, including Love Ain’t Here Any More and the stunning Forever Love.

You couldn’t fault him, his vocals were pitch perfect and his banter was on top form.

Back on the main stage, Tyne Steps Choir joined Barlow to perform Sing, and video footage of Sir Elton John was beamed onto a big screen for their duet Face to Face.

Fabulous performances of The Flood, and the uplifting Let Me Go, which saw Barlow jumping around thrashing a tambourine, ensured the show ended on a high.

Rule The World concluded a sensational set and confirmed that Gary Barlow as a solo artist is indeed back for good.