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14 unforgettable reasons why we miss M&S Bank Arena, and the videos that prove it

3 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

14 unforgettable reasons why we miss M&S Bank Arena, and the videos that prove it

The good times will return to M&S Bank Arena Liverpool as this incredible line-up has kept jaws-dropping and tickets selling since 2008!

We’re all looking forward to finally getting back out to Liverpool again, but for now, we’re staying home, staying safe, and looking forward to doing what the city does best, with the gigs, guests, and gigantic names that lit up the stage and live on in our memories of M&S Bank Arena Liverpool.

1 – Beyonce – June 2009

The city was sent into a frenzy with the arrival of Beyonce on her I Am…World Tour and with costumes designed by Thierry Mugler and a high wire performance overhead in the highest of heels, Bey lived up to all our expectations. 

The bootyliciousness began with Crazy in Love, ahead of two hours of unadulterated Goddess-levels of glamour and stamina live on stage, including a Scouse sing-along to Irreplaceable, a heart-stopping Halo, and a special shout-out to all the Single Ladies.

2 – Netball World Cup – July 2019

New Zealand took home the Vitality Netball World Cup from defending champions, Australia, in a 52-51 victory set against the spectacular surroundings of ACC Liverpool.

The competition brought superb coverage for the city, with a Liver Bird mascot, named Jude after The Beatles anthem, and heralded ACC Liverpool as an international event campus, with the competition, team training and warm-up courts all ideally located under one roof on the banks of Liverpool’s UNESCO world heritage waterfront.

3 – Chic featuring Nile Rodgers – October 2017

I said, ‘Freak!’ And so did you, as the 15th anniversary of Liverpool Music Week welcomed dance-floor legends CHIC and Nile Rodgers to the city, heating us up with the hottest hits this side of those scorching Seventies!

Nile worked the crowd into a frenzy with songs so familiar we were born knowing the words – Good Times, He’s The Greatest Dancer, We Are Family, Everybody Dance and I’m Coming Out, only some of them, and if we were born to Disco, Nile Rodgers was born to bass, charming the crowd with his stories and memories of Liverpool.

4 – Liverpool Number Ones – Jan 2008

It was the perfect gig to open the doors and christen our new arena! The city got together during Capital of Culture Year to celebrate the phenomenal Guinness World Record of having the most Nº1 hit singles from any city, under the roof our newest live entertainment venue.

The Liverpool Number Ones concert featured a cast of Merseyside music stars from Atomic Kitten to OMD, Sonia and Swinging Blue Jeans, with an album released of the hits.

5 – Lady Gaga – February 2010

Clad in low-plunge, high-cut, purple lurex, a comic book blonde Lady Gaga brought the hottest live leotard action to Liverpool on her Monster Ball Tour.

The stage set was straight out of the most seedy New York nightclub, opening with Just Dance – as Gaga played piano under the hood of a pimped up green tank – leather clad dancers either side, until she teased the crowd with discarded cut-off gloves flying out into the audience. Track after track, from Poker Face to Paparazzi, Gaga ruled and left us with loving her with Bad Romance.

6 – Sir Paul McCartney – December 2011

A thrilling three-hour long gig, Sir Paul welcomed fans to the final date of his On The Run Tour, starting proceedings with Hard Day’s Night. Garnering wolf-whistles and declarations of love from the crowd, an emotional Macca let us know how good it felt to be back.

The night, of course, included Beatles’ tracks from All My Loving to Paperback Writer, with George Harrison’s Something, and a high-octane Live and Let Die from Wings-era Macca, but we all know, it’s all about the encores when Paul’s back home, featuring the rarely played, Mull of Kintyre, along with Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, light dimming aptly with The End.

7 – MTV Europe Music Awards – Nov 2008

The place was buzzin’ when MTV landed in Liverpool, streets sprawling with revellers keen to join the crowds of music lovers and dreamers! California girl, Katy Perry, hosted an evening that included the Ultimate Legend Award going to our very own Paul McCartney, and from down the road in Newton-Le-Willows, an online campaign crowned Mr Rick Astley as Best Act Ever!

Live performances included Beyonce’s debut in the city, Take That, The Killers, P!nk and R&B stars including Craig David and Estelle joining Trevor Nelson’s after-show party at the Carling Academy.

8 – George Michael – October 2012

Marking nearly 30 years since he last visited the city, George Michael hit the town and showed us why he was so worth the wait.

Backed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, The Symphonica Tour brought his impeccable vocals to an eclectic mix of songs from Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me to New Order’s True Faith, along with his own classics including Father Figure, along with Freedom 90 and I’m Your Man from his 1980s Wham! days.

9 – The MOBOs – October 2010/2012

We’re so good, after praising the city for our creativity, fashion and hospitality – Music Of Black Origin came back twice! The first MOBO visit awarded JLS with Best Album, Billy Ocean was honoured with a Lifetime award and N-Dubz featuring Mr Hudson took home Best Single for Playing with Fire. Watch as Nelly performs Just A Dream above.

In November 2012, the annual award ceremony returned with Motown Dionne Warwick arriving in Liverpool to accept an honorary award, Earthquake – Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah – scooping Best Single and Emelie Sandé winning Best Album with her debut, Our Version Of Events.

10 – John Bishop – October 2012

A regular face on the north west standup scene, from previous appearances at Hot Water Comedy Club and Liverpool Empire, it was great to see one of the city’s best-loved Scousers at the Arena for the first time, on the sold-out final night of his Rollercoaster Tour.

While it’s tempting to say 2012 was a particularly big year for Bishop, with his 5-day BBC Sports Relief triathlon raising £3.4 million for charity; cycling from the Eiffel Tower to Calais, rowing the English Channel, running from Dover to Trafalgar Square; ahead of taking part in the Olympic torch relay, his popularity brings new material year-after-year, and we love hearing the latest stories from this household name whenever he brings them home. He also played the With Love From Liverpool gig at the arena and you can watch our chat with him backstage, above.

11 – Little Mix – October 2019

Liverpool loves Little Mix and if you needed any confirmation, this latest gig was it!

Touring new album, LM5, and belting out greatest hits including Shout Out To My Ex, Black Magic and Touch, the girls hit home with a consistent Stand As Sisters message, love for fans in the LGBTQ+ community and empowering words of inspiration from YouTubers.

After playing September’s Fusion Festival in Sefton Park, along with Jesy’s Odd One Out documentary – showing the shocking extent of online bullying – airing that same month, there was no mixed message from Liverpool when Little Mix came back for more.

12 – Rihanna – May 2013

After first unleashing her hits live in Liverpool in 2011, Rihanna returned for the third time with the kind of flawless back catalogue that guarantees one hell of a show – and (Rude) boy, did she deliver!

Pitch-perfect vocals met super slick moves, as RiRi emerged from a glass ball, convincing us she was the only girl in the world, as she manoeuvred with Military prowess to a PVC-clad Prince tribute, invited a fan onstage for a quick bite of S&M and shook out that Umbrella before she left us wanting more!

13 – Lionel Richie – March 2012/ 2015

Bringing almost forty years of greatest hits, from The Commodores to his astounding solo success, Lionel Richie got Liverpool on our feet for two hours of timeless tracks that kept fans singing all night long, on two occasions.

Watch above as he brought out Liverpool singer Rebecca Ferguson for Endless Love.

From soulful ballads like Three Times A Lady and Stuck On You, to wooing the crowd with a duet of Endless Love, his 1981 hit with Diana Ross, the city was ready to party, and Lionel showed us what makes him one of the industry’s finest performers, with a high energy show which showed no signs of slowing down.

14 – Oasis – October 2008

The Dig Out Your Soul Tour sold out 117 gigs in under an hour, starting out across North America, with the first night of the European leg kicking off in the city.

By August 2009, sibling rivalry had entirely soured and the band was no more, cancelling the rest of the tour. If there were signs of bad news to come, the setlist was faultless with Liam in top form, but there were many surreal sights that night in Liverpool. Ricky Hatton set the tone, introducing first track, Rock ’n’ Roll Star, with a threat to any would-be assailants following Noel’s onstage attack in Canada. Ignoring Doctor’s orders, Noel duly rolled out Wonderwall with broken ribs, before the Gallagher brothers aptly left with I Am the Walrus, and lots of head-scratching, head-lining chaos to come.

We know you’ve had some great nights at M&S Bank Arena Liverpool. Give us your headliners @TheGuideLpool


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