Review: Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Back Together, Leeds First Direct Arena, February 25
INDEPENDENTLY, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe are two of the biggest entertainment draws. Together they are a phenomenon.
Three mega-selling albums, imaginatively named Together (2016), Together Again (2017) and Back Together (2019), have established the pair as the UK’s absolute best-selling act of physical CDs.
Regulars of the Leeds First Direct Arena, Messrs Ball and Boe are just so comfortable in their complimentary talents and know exactly how to pick a set list that will enthral their very loyal audience.
Almost predictably, kicking off with a rousing version of The Greatest Show, from the Hugh Jackman film soundtrack, Ball and Boe present consummate covers of famous duets I Knew You Were Waiting For Me (Aretha Franklin and George Michael) and Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart (Marc Almond and Gene Pitney).
Other well-chosen covers include Army (The Shires), Labi Siffre’s (Something Inside) So Strong and, most convincingly, John Farnham’s anthem You’re The Voice.
Individually, Ball covered Anthem from Benny, Bjorn and Tim Rice’s Chess while Boe stole the show with his emotive cover of Snow Patrol’s Run, which gave the audience a chance to wave phone torches in the air. What fun!
Of course, Michael and Alfie had to showcase the very best of musical theatre, including Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler On The Roof) and surprisingly Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (Christine’s solo from The Phantom Of The Opera).
Hot from their historic engagement for Les Miserables – The Staged Concert, overjoyed fans were treated to Stars, Bring Him Home and One Day More, which felt as if this was the climax of last night’s concert.
This was not the case as the orchestra and choir then launched into a Lion King Medley and a trio of Queen songs, two very fine Freddie Mercury songs, Who Wants to Live Forever and The Show Must Go On, and one of Freddie’s off moments, Friends Will Be Friends. Never mind.
An encore of Paul Anka’s My Way would have kept the audience happy. However, the surprise of the evening was the Grease Mega Mix: Grease, Greased Lightnin’, You’re The One That I Want and We Go Together. Everyone left elated!