Along with so many of Lee's fans, I had huge expectations of the opening night of the Love Tour and it exceeded every one - from the glossy programme, which gave us a tantalising alphabetical list of songs which 'may' be in the set, to the way that set was strung together through the evening, taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster of a journey through mellow love songs like 'Better' and 'Falling Slowly', powerful musical theatre anthems like 'Gethsemane' and 'Bring Him Home', breaking the tension with lighter moments such as 'Kiss' or the fabulous 'At Or With Me'.
Lee and his musical director, Mason Neely, have assembed a great band, making the most of Mason's wonderful arrangements. Special guest, the lovely Louise Dearman, was fabulous, singing three solos and two duets with Lee and showcasing her truly phenomenal voice.
But it was Lee - his total command of the stage, his easy rapport with the audience, his utterly glorious voice, not to mention his superbly tailored suits! - who completely blew me away. He has grown immensely as a performer since his first solo concert in Southend a little under two years ago, but remains the same warm, down to earth, funny yet thoughtful man, genuinely appreciative of where his life (and his hard work) is taking him.
My personal highlights? The whole show really - because it was new, and so long awaited, and so brilliant - but if I have to choose one, then Kiss. Bournemouth Pavilion has a covered orchestra pit which bridges the gap between stage and audience - Lee made extremely good use of the space as his personal dance floor, demonstrating some moves I didn't know he had in his repertoire!
Click for a full setlist and band credits.
Big thanks to Louise's team for making and sharing this wonderful 'behind the scenes' video of the start of the tour.
And finally, many thanks to Abs for sharing her gorgeous photos - click on any below to view full Gallery - the last there is from the post-show signing, taken by the inestimable Phill who was on camera duty throughout the mammoth 1 hour 45 minute signing session!
Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 14 February 2015