AFTER five years away from touring Take That are back and the fans have responded as they always do.

They have got their tickets, made their banners and filled arenas and stadiums up and down the country.

Judging by the flags and banners on display in St Mary’s on Saturday night, they also travelled from far and wide to be there.

I saw flags from France, Italy and Germany to name a few.

If you have seen Take That before you will also know to expect a big, big show that will be delivered like the 30-year veterans that they are.

Saturday's show did not disappoint the tens of thousands that packed the venue and sang their hearts out to almost every number.

First up though was Olly Murs who took to the stage dressed head to toe in black and provided the perfect warm act for what was to follow.

As someone who sells out venues up and down the country it may have seemed strange being back as a support but he seemed to love every minute of it as did the crowd.

As Olly left the stage the anticipation grew to a crescendo up to the moment the intro music started and what appeared to be pictures of Gary, Howard and Mark appeared on the screen of a giant TV, only for it to be the real thing.

Also dressed all in black the three were greeted by a chorus of screams and cheers as they launched into Keep Your Head Up and Giants accompanied by the first, but not the last, blast of confetti.

As the evening progressed the show just got bigger and bigger.

The many costume changes were accompanied by more confetti cannons, streamers, pyrotechnics and a light and stage show that would blow most other bands away.

The band took it in turn to narrate the story of Take That as they made their way through the set list.

Howard made himself very popular by congratulating Southampton on their promotion to the Premier League then not so much when he congratulated Man U on winning the FA Cup!

As you would expect the stage was an ever moving and ever-changing set of monitors, screen, staircases and props that became more and more colourful as the night went by.

The set list included songs from the entirety of their career including nineties favourites.

A Million Love Songs, Relight My Fire and Sure right up to eight songs from their latest offering This Life.

This was certainly a night that set the standard for the live experience and with a second night on Sunday, I am sure that every single person in the stadium wished they had tickets for so that they could enjoy it all over again.