Saturday, May 28, 2011 8:34am by  
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Take That kick off ‘Progress’ tour

After nearly a year of incredible build-up, the complete Take That line-up has finally kicked off their record-breaking 'Progress' tour in Sunderland.

54,000 fans were in attendance to bear witness to Robbie Williams joining his old bandmates in concert for a full set for the first time in 15 years. They were also treated with a series of songs from Robbie’s solo back catalogue.

Even with Robbie in tow, it’s hard to imagine the spectacle topping the epic ‘Circus’ show that was toured by the originally reformed Take That – comprised of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – two years ago. That show featured a giant mechanical elephant that carried the band to and from the main stage.

However, it indeed looks like the band have raised the bar once again with a 60ft robotic man, a wall of water, 31 performers and acrobats with nine costume changes.

Bursting with pride, Robbie announced to the throngs: "We have spent a lot of time and money on this show to make it the best in the world this year. And I'm very proud to be a part of it all again."

Check out the band in dress rehearsals with their robot below: