The full to capacity M&S arena in Liverpool hosted not one but two of the most iconic and legendary Motown bands in history on Sunday 2nd October 2022. The all seated arena soon had the audiences on their feet and dancing to classic and now iconic sounds from the 60s onwards.
The audience covered a range of ages which is testament to the quality of both bands track’s as they have stood the test of time whilst attracting new, younger fans.
The concert opened with the American band, Odyssey who were a worthy support and played their back catalogue of songs to the already full arena. Odyssey have been writing and recording hits since 1977 when they started on the touring circuit from their home in New York city. The band originally comprised founder and lead vocalist Lilian Lopex who after her death, was succeeded by her son and now lead vocalist Steven Collazo. Collazo was supported on this tour by Kay-Jay Sutherland and Michelle John who danced and crooned lyrics which totally warmed up the audience for the two major Motown players who were about to hit the stage.
Native New Yorker, Use It Up- Wear It Out, Inside Out, Looking For a Way Out, New York City, Going Back To My Roots.
An excitement filled the arena when The Four Tops walked onto the stage. This was a band whose impressive back catalogue just seemed to get better and better with each track played. They were the ultimate professionals.
Sadly, founding member Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir announced not only would this be his last tour with his beloved band but it would also be the last time he travelled to the U.K. The 88 years old, who has been touring for 68 years and is not in the best of health, said ‘it’s time to hang up his microphone.’ The audience showed their love and appreciation by giving him a standing ovation which moved him to tears.
This was pure delight, musical heaven! All lyrics could be heard and clearly distinguished, no: mumbling, swearing, rapping or gimmicks. Simply, genuine top-notch proper old school music. A clear melody for each song with wholesome lyrics and synchronised dance moves to match.
The Four Tops Setlist:
Acapulco, Baby I need Your Lovin, Bernadette, Same Old Song, Shake, I Believe, Let the Good Times Roll, Feel It, Man Enough, Ain’t No Woman, Reach Out, Standing In The Shadows Of Love.
Sugar Pie Honey Bunch aka, Can’t Help Myself.
Motown heavy weights The Temptations were next to entertain the highly excited audience. Looking around the auditorium you could see genuine smiles of pure happiness from grandparents to grandchildren with everything in between, simply basking in the amazing entertainment. It was like being at a Christmas extravaganza in an old music hall with genuinely talented singers. A cacophony of deep baritone voices harmonised with the silky velvety sound of sopranos and the high pitched alto.
You can only imagine how many instruments there must have been backstage as both bands brought their own full band with them! Fantastic! The Four Tops had a mini orchestra of twelve whilst The Temptations had sixteen.There were more roadies than you could shake a drumstick at. Roadies could be seen tuning up instruments; rearranging amps and stage pops for a full thirty minutes before each band walked onto the stage.
These bands were the original boy bands. They perfected the synchronised dance moves that punctuate lyrics of songs. They started the craze, which many boy and girl bands now plaguratise of creating a dance for their fans to copy for each new song. Just think Steps and Take That and Little Mix to name but a few!
Each member of five strong group, wearing their trademark matching monochrome suits took lead vocal on a song; chatted with ease and pleasure to the audience and genuinely seemed to be having a good time entertaining their loyal fans who they thanked profusely for supporting them through the years.
Their opening track of Get Ready set the electric party tone for their songs which followed ending with a crescendo of their most popular hits: Treat Her Like A Lady, Ain’t No Stopping Us and their undisputed classic, My Girl.
They looked the part, they sounded the part which made this the best party in town. Sixty years of touring melted away as the best of the best provided… Motown memories!
The Temptations Set List:
Get Ready, Girl, Girl, Girl, the girl’s alright With Me, Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, Trouble, The Way You Do The Thing You Do, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Ball Of Confusion, I Wish It Would Rain, Just My Imagination, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Next To You, It’s Gonna Be A Yes Or No.
Treat Her Like A Lady, Ain’t No Stopping Us, My Girl.