hmv.com reviews… Steps @ Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Steps cranked out the hits at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena and we were there to catch all the action...
Everybody’s favourite 90’s pop group Steps, touring again 20 years after they first started out.
In a very busy and sold out Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It’s rammed with people craving their 90’s nostalgia, with people fully clad in sequined outfits and devil horns. It feels that it is the exact same audience that would have seen them years ago.
Were there any decent supports?
If you want your slice of cheesy 90’s pop, then you can’t get much better than the Vengaboys. It’s a real trip down memory lane for everybody here dancing and singing along to the classics; “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom”, “We’re Going To Ibiza” amongst others. Particularly in the case of their outrageous outfit choices, it’s great to see that nothing has changed over time.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The introduction is very dramatic, with a theatrical overture and dancers dressed in red capes and masks. The band reveal themselves to huge cheers from the crowd and launch into “Scared Of The Dark”, their comeback single released earlier this year. It’s the sort of song that pop music needs these days and would easily win any Eurovision contest it was put in.
“Deeper Shade Of Blue” follows and like muscle memory, you see people in the crowd recreating the moves from the chorus. To this date, the group are still all on point with their routines; each of them sharing the “limelight” equally. “Chain Reaction” sees all five members on hospital beds being pushed around the stage throughout the song.
This is particularly evident during “Stomp” which has the first of almost half a dozen costume changes. Dancers on the stage are wearing large disco ball headpieces but it never distracts from the fact that this is great pop music. Out of all of the new material, it’s probably “Neon Blue” that is most embraced by the crowd during its rousing chorus.
But what everyone is here for are the hits and they are rattled off one after another. “Better Best Forgotten” segways into “Last Thing On My Mind” and the uplifting “Summer Of Love” is mixed with Bieber’s “Despacito”. “5,6,7,8” is complimented by a wild west backdrop and is a rousing time for everybody here tonight.
The whole show has a sense of fun which sometimes feels lacking from a lot of pop music these days. Other old-school hits such as “Love’s Got A Hold On My Heart” and “After The Love Has Gone” go down an absolute treat and are a strong reminder of how catchy they were back in the day. However out of all of the songs tonight “One For Sorrow stands out as a highlight, with its soaring vocals and memorable dance moves.
They go all out for an encore of “Tragedy” with all members dressed to the nines in wedding dresses and suits. Its routine is one that nobody has forgotten in the past 20 years and on the strength of tonight, you can see it lasting for another 20 years more!
Did they put on much of a show?
What’s great about the show is that they know the ridiculousness of some pop music, however they embrace its extravagance and its all the better for it! Amongst the various costume changes, we have sets in hospitals, chapels, saloons and of course discos.
What was the highlight of the set?
“One For Sorrow” is a moment that showcases everything that is great about Steps. Claire’s vocals to this day are still top notch and everybody in the crowd is dancing along to the chorus with their arms up in the air. You could argue that “Tragedy” is the biggest sing and dance along of the night, however this particularly stands out.
Where can I catch them next?
Their extensive tour sees them playing Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool amongst others. However, in the summer they have a stadium tour planned across the UK with support from both “Blue” and “Aqua”. They are going to be some shows that you wouldn’t want to miss!