Last weekend, I went to see STEPS. (there was much ribbing in the office about this and the fact that since I went with my family, I must have been taking someone aged about 11).
As much as I liked them 10 years ago, for some reason, I had never seen them live before - perhaps because there hadn't been anyone for me to go with at that time. I'd watched the Sky TV show about them all getting back together and putting their differences aside, and well, I must admit that some members came across much better than others. It seemed like there was a huge amount of pressure for them to reform, and pull a stage show together in a matter of only a few months.
However, it was clear from the offset that this was something the fans really wanted. The Sheffield show, and I'm sure many of the others were sell outs. I had pretty good tickets, fairly close to the stage on one of the sides of the arena. And to me, Sheffield is one of the best arenas, because wherever you are, the view is pretty good. And the crowd is always amazing.
What a show it was. Clearly the budget had been thrown out of the window and it was pretty spectacular staging. On top of that, the routines were huge amounts of fun, and for anyone who had known the dances to a Steps song back in the day, they were given the chance to brush off their dancing shoes and join right back in again.
But then there was the singing. They sang live. They each did a solo. Lee's rendition of Moves Like Jagger was pretty cool indeed. Lisa surprised me by her solo, because she proved to me that actually, her voice is pretty good. And Claire. Well, Claire brought the house down. You know one of those roars of approval from the audience that sounds almost respectful. Throughout the whole song. It's hard to describe, but amazing to experience and she left the stage with tears in her eyes and a happy glow on her face.
But all in all a really fun night out, it was a massive party from start to finish, and I've not been to an arena show with an atmosphere like that since the Spice Girls. I hope they are back for a while yet, because I think this is a band with a lot of life still in them.