Progress Live (also known as the 20th Anniversary Tour) was the eighth concert tour by British pop group Take That. The tour, sponsored by Samsung, supported their sixth studio album, Progress as they visited major cities in the UK and Europe. It was the first tour to feature all five original members performing together in 15 years and the final tour to feature Jason Orange and Robbie Williams. In its infancy, the tour accomplished many accolades including selling 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. The tour quickly became the biggest tour in the United Kingdom, beating Michael Jackson's This Is It with demand for tickets a reported 30 times higher for Progress Live They played 8 nights each at Etihad Stadium in Manchester and also Wembley Stadium in London – breaking the previous record held by Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour set in 1988. These eight nights at Wembley Stadium saw Take That break the record for the highest-grossing residency by grossing £38 million ($61 million) from their respective London dates alone. At the conclusion of 2011, the tour was placed on Billboard's annual, "Top 25 Tours", and appeared third worldwide, earning over $180 million with 29 shows. Each member of the band received £7,900,000 from the tour after tax.
It will be a big production show. We're looking forward to coming up with big ideas for it to be a spectacular again
—Gary Barlow, The Epoch Times
In early 2010, the media reported that Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow were recording a duet in Los Angeles, California. Since that announcement, numerous rumours emerged of Williams reuniting with the band. In July 2010, the band confirmed his joining and also announced all five members recording an album. Later in the year, the group announced their upcoming promotional tour. The announcement of the tour was well received by both the media and public. Once tickets were available, many ticket vendors' websites and hotlines crashed due to demand. The popularity of the tour surpassed their previous fest, which was viewed by over 600,000 spectators with over 1.8 million people having attended the shows.
The tour had a positive reaction from critics, media and fans alike. Gordon Smart of The Sun newspaper reviewed that "Take That kicked off their record-breaking new tour in spectacular style – promising fans "the best show in the world". And going by the sound of 54,000 people screaming before, during and after the gig, the most popular band in the country have delivered the goods yet again" whilst also commenting that "no expense has been spared in the £15m production. It has everything – the greatest hits, a jaw-dropping set, amazing costumes, intricate choreography and stunning pyrotechnics." He concluded by stating that "it was a tall order improving on Circus, but the band have succeeded. You won't hear many complaints if they decided to do it all again in two years time."
Sky News also praised the show commenting that "Take That [had] lived up to the hype surrounding their reunion with Robbie Williams as they kicked off their sell-out tour." Dave Simpson of The Guardian bestowed the highest award of 5 stars to the tour as he praised the achievement of the group by stating "Grins and a group hug later, the band upstaged their jawdropping visuals with the sight of five men performing the classic pop anthems that made them – Pray, Relight My Fire, and Back For Good – and dancing and smiling like they'd never been away." He ended his review by commenting that when "the quintet sang 'Never Forget' in front of an illuminated robot so tall it towered above the stadium, it felt like that almost mythical event: a once in a lifetime pop experience."
Mark Owen and Howard Donald were both trapped on a stage robot during a concert at Etihad Stadium in Manchester on 4 June 2011. The pair were meant to be lowered to the stage on the palms of the group's giant robot man, Om, but the mechanics failed. Consequently, they were stuck singing Love Love three metres (10 ft) above the rest of the band. Ladders were used to rescue Mark Owen so he could continue his performance. Howard Donald was forced to sing lead vocals for the next track, Never Forget, his only solo performance, while still stuck on the robot before being helped down himself. A statement from the group read: "The mechanical man did stop in motion at the end of Love Love but the matter was resolved and by the end of the show he was standing tall again. Howard Donald was stuck singing Never Forget on a mechanical robot. There is no guarantee that with a mechanical structure the size of Om, there will be no recurrence at some point but all seems fine now."
During the 2011 Progress Tour, the 16 July concert at the sold-out Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark was cancelled only a few hours before the beginning of the show. It was announced that Robbie Williams had caught a severe stomach infection, and was (in spite of treatment attempts) advised by doctors not to go on stage. Take That therefore decided to cancel the event, feeling the fans would not be satisfied with not having Williams on stage. This was the first time Take That had ever cancelled a concert.
Progress Live was released on DVD and Blu-ray throughout Europe beginning on 19 November 2011 and debuted at number 1 in the UK and Ireland, whilst also appearing at number 2 in Italy and Germany. On the first two days on sale in the UK the tour DVD sold "twice as much as the entire music DVD chart combined." The first week sales in the UK totalled 127,359, followed by a further 72,715 copies the next week.