There are 2 types of people - those who love Steps, and those who love Steps and live in staunch denial about it. Since their inception in 1997, Claire, Lisa, H, Faye and Lee have kept the willing and unwilling masses topped up with their infectious brand of catchy, fun-loving bubblegum pop. And really, who can resist such an addictive concoction?
A vast minority apparently, as an almost instantly sold out SSE Arena on 14th November led to tonight's show being hastily slotted in, replacing Dublin as the introductory host city to their hugely popular UK and Ireland tour.
Steps kicked off their glittering setlist with their newest single 'Scared Of The Dark,' amidst a plethora of pyrotechnics and mysterious red velvet cloaks, before seamlessly following into 'Deeper Shade Of Blue,' and then onto 'Chain Reaction,' where they were whizzed around the stage in hospital beds, piloted by a somewhat unique style of medical professional. The show continued into multiple costume changes, underwritten by an impressive production including backing dancers re-enacting classic Steps videos, and screens depicting carefully chosen scenes which complemented the performance perfectly.
The group presented a well-chosen mix of old and new, along with upbeat and slow, easily pleasing an enthusiastic and rapturous Belfast crowd. 'Story Of A Heart' and a medley of the greatest hits concluded the main set, as the fivesome then launched into a duo of encores. The relatively new 'Neon Blue' welcomed the band back onstage before a quick costume change saw them conclude their set with 'Tragedy,' against the scene of a giant wedding cake because it just wouldn't be Steps without that kind of extravagance...right?
Regardless of age, gender, or situation, the crowd relived choreography that hadn't been aired since the 90's and recited every word perfectly, all while sporting glowsticks and huge smiles, at the sold-out SSE Arena in Belfast. The energy was absolutely contagious, with a great night had by all. And the best part, for many, is that the guys and girls of Steps will be back next July for an outdoor show with Aqua and Blue, to provide the people of Belfast with another helping of much-needed pop nostalgia.