Europe: Weekends of Mass Distraction (2003)
The European Weekends Of Mass Distraction tour of 2003 saw Robbie play to a massive 1.2 million people with 21 shows across Europe. A stadium tour of monumental proportions, the gigs drew in huge crowds - never had Knebworth Park, home to a string of legendary shows, played host to such a triumphant occasion.
Ticket sales for the UK dates broke all sales records, selling out in less than eight hours. The tour was preceded by a warm-up gig in Paris, and then finally kicked off with two nights in Edinburgh where Robbie played to crowds of more than 60,000. And that was just the start of things to come...!
The tour had a massive impact on Robbie's fan base across the continent. France had previously been slow to embrace the Robbie Williams phenomenon but was now gripped and sales of Escapology began to soar. The latest wave of publicity and live appearances had propelled the album into the top three of the album chart.
The Knebworth gigs made their mark on music history by attracting the biggest crowds ever recorded. More than 375,000 fans rocked up to the event over a 3-day period of blazing hot sunshine.
The band line-up featured a new acquisition of Robbie's good friend Max Beesley as guest pianist and saw the departure of Guy Chambers as musical director and guitarist Fil Eisler. In came new recruits Mark Plati as musical director on keyboards and guitar and Neil Taylor also on guitar.
Let Love Be Your Energy
Me and My Monkey
One For My Baby
She's The One
Band Line Up:Yolande Charles
"During the evening, Robbie Williams will allude to his dependence on anti-depressants and send up his inability to find a partner. There is a mania about the savagery of his self-satire, his compulsion to disclose. He is the archetypal sad clown, loved, perhaps, because we like to be reminded that success does not equal happiness."
The Guardian, June 2003
"He's funny, too, cheerfully mangling Swedish phrases, arriving onstage in a white tie over black shirt and trousers, in a tribute to The Hives. And he goes the extra kilometre: Williams is a whirlwind of energy tonight, running himself ragged to prove to the 35,000 assembled faithful that he does love them, really. He drinks four bottles of lurid orange Gatorade throughout the evening, each down in one. The effect is the same as that of a kid on sugar: up he goes, then down. Then up again."
The Observer, August 2003
"A pregnant Robbie Williams fan gave birth and 11 other women went into labour moments after the rock star appeared on stage at the weekend. The first woman's waters broke just as Robbie belted out his opening number Let Me Entertain You in front of 125,000 fans at his sell-out concert on Friday."
The Mirror, August 2003