For the last decade, the Apple Music festival, formerly known as the iTunes Festival, has been a celebration of music that Apple managed to expose the world through its platform. It is also a celebration of some of the biggest and popular musicians in the world. Robbie Williams for one is part of this extraordinary league of musicians. Williams, who grew to fame in the boy band ‘Take That’ has been one of the biggest pop stars on the planet for the last two decades. He’s had is ups and downs while many have written him off due to his off stage shenanigans, Williams made a resounding return at the Apple Music festival. If anything, his electrifying performance at the Apple Music festival in London’s Roundhouse was evidence that he’s ageing like fine wine.
The Roundhouse, which is in North London’s Camden area is an iconic venue and only two days before Williams performed, the venue was lit up the world’s most popular EDM DJ, Calvin Harris, in a performance which can be described as glitzy and polished to the degree of being robotic. And remember, Harris is the darling of the masses these days, so Williams had a hard act to follow up to. But what ensured was a electrifying masterclass full of pomp and energy testifying the fact that Robbie still had his top game.
Watching from the top deck of the roundhouse, I was witness to one of the most scintillating live performances I’ve seen in recent times. And this was a fully live band. There was nothing sampled out here. This is was a 90’s rockstar at full throttle, and boy he came in bustling in with and announced himself as “I am Robbie f**king Williams and your ass is mine.” He started with a frenetic rendition of ‘Let me entertain you’ which smoothly transition into a magnificent version of ‘Rock DJ’. The crowd was already in splits within two songs of the gig.
It was a thunderous start to what was a concert full of his greatest hits. In may ways this was a ravenous return of one the biggest pop stars of the 90’s who also ended the gig by announcing the launch of his new album and its new latest number at the fag end of the gig. Unexpectedly, this album will also be available on Apple Music and the iTunes music store.
As this was the 10th anniversary of Apple Music, the Cupertino based company also made sure some big-wigs from India were also there. This also included Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia, who was quite evidently rocking out to Robbie Williams’ antics. The entire gig was laced with tongue in cheek humour, some personal anecdotes and also a duet of Better Man which Williams performed with his father Peter Williams.
Along with some pyrotechnic numbers, Robbie was also in the mood for heartfelt subtleties like Millennium. Additionally on expectedly lines, Feel was performed. Considering it is a long time fan favourite and one of his most famous songs, this didn’t come as a surprise. As the song started Roundhouse, turned into a spectacular playground for a mind bending laser light-show, which would be more attuned to a Chemical Brothers performance. That being said, again, the level of intensity for the song was superlative and suffice to say Robbie Williams stopped just short of bringing the RoundHouse down.
As a part of the final encore, Williams performed Angels which was dedicated to his recently deceased manager David Enthoven and his new chartbuster Sensational which will release later this November. Overall, Robbie Williams was immense fun and mostly it was a superb return for the pop star, and he sure owned our ass.
(Photo Courtesy: Apple Music)
Disclosure: Apple paid for the writer’s travel and stay in London where he covered the Apple Music festival.