Yoga and meditation don't appear to have had much of a calming effect on Robbie Williams, judging by last night's lively performance at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The show marked the 44-year-old's comeback after a health scare in Russia forced him to cut his world tour short in September.

Support act Tami Neilson, the incredibly powerful country and soul singer, first hit the stage with plenty of bling. The Auckland-based singer sparkled on stage in gold and warmed the crowd up nicely with her wide-ranging vocal repertoire.

To set the scene for Williams, a deep voice introduced the comical God Bless our Robbie anthem. The band then took their positions and "the headline act" was announced in the manner of a heavyweight boxer to the ring.


Long-legged dancers moved front-of-stage, wearing headgear, gloves and little else, while Williams appeared in a robe as the champion of the night - before baring his tiger underwear.

Williams has always been a born performer. He struts and postures, projecting uber-confidence at every turn.

Now a family man, Williams also showed a softer side. He shared heart-warming conversations he'd had with his kids. Five-year-old daughter Theodora had asked if, when he died, she could have his bedroom.

This paved the way for the heart-swelling Love My Life.

Later, Williams shared the limelight with an audience member, who offered to accompany him as Kylie Minogue's voice in Kids, and invited a 19-year-old woman on the stage for Something Stupid. Seated by her side, Williams sang to an emotional Rebecca and acknowledged her mum, who had passed away.

Being Valentines' Day, Williams admitted he hadn't bought flowers or a gift for his wife, Ayda Field. "I'm a bit f***ed", he said. "What shall I do?"

Luckily for Ayda, Williams came up with a backup plan and enlisted the audience to sing "I love you Boozy" – using his wife's nickname.

With the audience lapping it up, Williams performed She's the One.


"This is the best Wednesday I've had in a long time," he said. "Wednesday's can be a little bit boring... but not in Auckland!"

An encore saw him breakout his biggest hits - Angels, Better Man and Win Some, Lose Some - accompanied by an impressive laser light show. Before he ended the night with Frank Sinatra's classic, My Way.

Williams will perform at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 17.