Surviving a ‘boy band‘ and hitting the pitch alone is a delicate science in which robbie williams he received a doctorate to surprise of own and strangers. The punk from Take That, who was asked to leave the group when he was at the top (back in 1995, when he began to be seen with friends like Liam Gallagher), he once played the glory practicing tightrope balance: pop heartthrob capable of disconcerting his fans and laughing at his shadow.
There it goes, giving theirs what they want with scenic bellows, a lot of humor and a pinch of soul like the one that wrapped up his songbook this Friday at the Palau Sant Jordi. The first of two nights in the city, going into a whirlwind (22 minutes late) to the beat of ‘Hey wow yeah yeah’, with a rocker download and a message from ‘carpe diem’: “Everybody knows we only have tonight”. Williams continues breaking canons of composure at almost 50: sleeveless lamé outfit, hint of a punk crest, pendants, tattoos and a long tongue, asking how to say ‘sex’ and ‘drugs’ in Spanish. “Sex? drugs? Your language is fucking easy!& rdquor;.
the old grudges
This is the ‘XXV Tour 2023’, but his golden years of ‘hits’ are not 25but five or six at the most, and from there (from the period 1997-03) came the bulk of the repertoire, like a ‘let me entertain you‘ which made his intentions clear. Hurricane version, with the three choristers at the top of their lungs and another trio in charge of the brass, all accompanied by the choreography of six dancers. Soul fibers that married the nod to Wilson Pickett from ‘Land of 1,000 dances’.
the old wounds of Take That no longer hurtas he came to tell us when singing ‘Don’t look back in anger’, by Oasis. Those times when she accompanied them to the Glastonbury Festival “with a pocket full of cocaine & rdquor ;. She inserted the song into a medley from her old group and, at the mention of ‘Do what you like’, she made the video stop when she showed a close-up of her (naked) butt. Robbie Williams, hesitating and presuming that shortly after kicking him out of Take That I was already succeeding more than them. But he didn’t sing us his liberation song, George Michael’s version of ‘Freedom’.
His performance went beyond the succession of songs: it was a night with characterall of him, talkative and dominating the situation, nonstop joking and making fun of himself: “In the 90s, I had two rules, not to marry and not to have children. Today I have been with my wife for 17 years and I have four children.”.
When he got serious, he frozen smiles, as he told us about his alcoholism, overcome 23 years ago. “It was to stop drinking or die, and I chose to live & rdquor ;, he confessed before addressing the ballad ‘Eternity’. He had already warned us that the concert would be therapy for him. and an entertainment session for us, and after the stretch of the couch, there was only the lively comeback, with ‘Feel’, ‘Rock DJ’ and ‘Angels‘ reminding us that, for a time, Robbie Williams learned and assimilated, quickly and well, the rules of pop success.