Three dates in (next stop Birmingham) and Alfie Boe and Michael Ball are on fine form on their Together Again tour 2017. The lovely Claire Shorter and her mum, Janet were there for us last night and bring us their review below. As Claire says herself, she entered into the Together venture not really knowing Alfie, but thought that if Michael loves Alfie and his work, then it was bound to be great. A year on and Claire now adores them both and even shared a laugh about with Michael at the Brighton meet and greet. As Claire and Janet went to say hello to Michael, he looked at Claire and said “go on over there to the one you left me for”, pointing at Alfie.
The BIC was bursting at the seams, the lights went down and silence fell, you could feel the anticipation. The music started and the boys began singing As If We Never Said Goodbye, with photos representing the fabulous year they have had appearing on the screen; from cuddling a koala, the Blackpool HMV signing and the great picture of the boys with their chopper. They then arrive on stage, looking and sounding amazing. Next is You’ll Be Back, the bromance banter and giggles begin and it is clear to see they really are each others favourite subject. Alfie tried to get the security lady to sing along but she was having none of it, so funny. This was followed by Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher. Both pulled out the moves and Alfie had a twinkle in his eye gesturing out to the audience. They then sang Hero, chosen by Alfie – the melodies are so beautiful and I love watching Michael miming the words as Alfie sings his section. Next was Tell Me It’s Not True from Blood Brothers, which is always a crowd pleaser, followed by Some Enchanted Evening, with Alfie sounding magical when he starts singing and Michael continues this when he joins in. When they sing Not While I’m Around, it is clear that they truly feel this about each other, they have each others backs. The winks that they share during the song are beyond cute.
The Rose comes with beautiful graphics on the screen, hearing them both sing this and Love Changes Everything is so refreshing. I love how Michael sings these songs but two powerhouses brings yet another dimension to the performance. One of my favourites from the Together tour was A Thousand Years so I was pleased to hear this again, the way they sing this song is nothing but perfection. The banter then continues and Alfie has to look after Michael; who would have thought I would be seeing Alfie wind Michael on stage! Watching Michael follow Alfie and his chair around the stage was amusing too. These two are so cheeky and mischievous and I love it. My favourite section has to be He Lives In You followed by You’re The Voice, the audience loved it and Alfie was jumping around the stage like Tigger, he certainly has a lot of energy. I have a short commute to work and I make sure I listen to track 4, 5 and 12 of the new album, so although I was missing Evermore I was in my element singing and clapping along.
It was then interval time and unfortunately someone was taken ill at the beginning so there was a slight delay. When Michael and Alfie returned to the stage they sang the West Side Story medley beautifully (albeit I am not a big fan of the song Maria), there were also great visuals that accompany the medley. Before they continued to the next song Michael asked the audience to join them in wishing the gentlemen who had fallen ill, well. Michael confirmed the gentlemen was ok and Alfie joked that guys would do anything to get out of seeing the show! The boys recent Royal Variety performance was then discussed, Alfie knew the dance but not the words and Michael knew the words but not the dance, however it was hilarious as Michael dropped a swear word and they both giggled most of the way through. They really do bring the audience sunshine. New York ,New York was next, but a seated version, it is great to hear it a different way, although I think all the fans are desperate to get up and have a dance.
Next comes a Queen medley and they do Freddie proud. The person next to me announced ‘they really are rock gods’! We were then treated to a bit of Edna and Michael pulled the gyrations out of the bag! In case we weren’t sure, Michael also confirms ‘I still bloody love Alfie Boe’. Michael’s second solo piece was The Impossible Dream, which always gets a great reaction. Michael is right, dream and dream big. Michael then left the stage and Alfie came on with his guitar, the band then joined him for Wagon Wheel, a song choice inspired by his late fathers love of that type of music. Such a great arrangement with the solo instrumentals, I felt like I was in a hick town, jamming with the locals. Alfie will be pleased to hear I caught the security lady having a little boogie to this song! We were treated to Run, a song Alfie dedicates to service men and women. Although I enjoyed Tiny Dancer the night before, I love Run, so emotional and strong.
Then it is the one that a lot of the crowd have been waiting for, Les Mis the medley is amazing and has a slight twist to how they have done it before. Although you don’t want the medley to end, it needs to as I think a lot of people forget to breathe. In the finale, One Day More, there was a lady on her feet waving her scarf, I love seeing other people showing their enjoyment and appreciation in such a way. Then the boys were gone and what a reaction they were given by the crowd, cheering, stomping feet, clapping and then the boys appeared again for the Prayer, wow, what an ending…..or is it….no, Michael’s dream then comes true…..he checks Alfie has gone then starts with the Wham medley, but Alfie just can’t resist, joining in. George Michael would have been dancing along with them. Those moves… Alfie braves it by standing on the piano but there is nothing stopping the boys, they really do end on a high leaving the audience with a huge smile on their faces.
Throughout the whole show, you can tell they really respect each others friendship and talent. They are also so grateful to the the fans, the interaction with the crowd is great, the smiles that beam, the winks that melt hearts and the waves that make you feel part of their journey. I am proud to be a fan and am very privileged to have shared some fantastic experiences with them. A lovely thing about the concerts is meeting up with friends and also meeting new people. I sat two seats away from 92 year old Mary who wanted me to pass the message on to Alfie and Michael that they were amazing, she also said she would race me to the stage door! Thank you also to everyone who is involved in putting on the show, whether it is the musicians, backing singers, Murray, Callum or anyone behind the scenes, you all do a great job.
Michael and Alfie, thank you both for bringing such joy to so many people and stay fabulous.
Wow, a fabulous review Claire and Janet, thank you so much!
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