'They're like family, I love them' - dedicated Take That fans start queuing seven hours before 3Arena gig
Take That fans certainly proved they have a little patience as they queued outside the 3Arena as early as noon yesterday for the first night of the band's Dublin gigs.
Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald weren't due to take the stage until 8.30pm last night but that didn't put their fans off lining up ahead of time - with some travelling from as far as away as Spain to get a piece of the action.
The trio - the remaining members of the original five-piece band - performed their Greatest Hits last night, with support from Rick Astley. They will perform again tonight.
But it was a case of the early bird catches the worm when it comes to concert-goers hoping to nab a coveted spot front of stage, so Lorraine Hanvey from Portadown, Co Armagh was sure to arrive in time yesterday.
Equipped with provisions for the day, she arrived in Dublin with four of her close pals, ready to relive their school days, when Take That first burst onto the scene.
"I had all the posters in my bedroom on the wall, we were all fans. They were the first big boyband and everyone copied them after that, they were the first before Boyzone and Westlife, before any of those people," Lorraine told the Herald.
It wasn't the first time the group had seen the band in action.
"The last time we were here we wanted to get first in the queue but there were 100 here before us. We made it today and are first in the queue," she said.
"We have been to Dublin a few times, Belfast and Manchester."
As for what song she was looking forward to most, it was the iconic number Never Forget.
"It is all their old stuff tonight, the original stuff - their new stuff is good but you can't beat the old stuff."
Meanwhile, Catherine O'Shea (30) arrived around lunchtime from Wexford with her sister Leah Furlong excited for the night ahead.
"We do miss Robbie a little bit, it would have been nice to see him for 30 years, but it doesn't matter - the three of them are great," she said.
There was also some hometown support from Amy Cahill from Tallaght, who had a stool to rest her weary feet during the wait.
She said the band "were like family".
"I've been to every tour since 2006, I am a big fan. I go everywhere to see them - Amsterdam, the UK, I went to Belfast when they didn't play Dublin in 2007," she said.
"I am going to this one and in three weeks' time I am going to Middlesborough," she added.
"I grew up with them, I was four when they got together - they're like family, I love them."
And concert-goers were in for a treat last night as The Dublin Gospel Choir joined Take That on stage for Relight My Fire.
Musical director Orla Gargan said that despite singing with a number of stars over the years, working with Take That was "definitely a bit of a thrill".
"There are a lot of us, of a certain age, in the choir that were huge Take That fans in our day so it's amazing to share the stage with them," she said.
"Especially singing Relight My Fire, it's an absolute classic and great fun to sing - even if the choreographers had us working pretty hard."
As for who was her favourite in the 90s, she said: "I have to admit, I was a Robbie girl, but 'our Gary' was always a close second, and it has to be said, the years have been kind."