Rick Astley – Live Review – The Piece Hall, Halifax

Rick Astley Live Review The Piece Hall Halifax

By Steve Crabtree, July 2024

If there was ever a match made in heaven, Rick Astley and The Piece Hall is it. As I sit down and write up the words about my latest concert, I’m still on a massive high from enjoying a brilliant night, and a brilliant performer. Every single element of this Sunday evening in Halifax fit together perfectly, and what we got out of it is something that, for us who were there, we won’t forget very easily.

This one was a Sunday evening thing. And, after a day filled with numerous types of weather, the sun broke out at 6pm, and started the shiny bright feeling for what we were about to receive.

It began superbly with The Lightning Seeds warming the crowd up as people filtered into The Piece Hall. A great band in the 90s, their set included ‘Change’, ‘The Life of Reilly’ and ‘Lucky You’ to remind us what we’ve loved about them over the last 35 years.  They also had us in fine voice by performing ‘Three Lions’, and with England about to play the Netherlands in the semi-final of Euro 2024 in a matter of days, everyone joined in.

They went down really well in Halifax. They’re one of those bands whose music you recognise a lot more than you thought you would, and a great choice to get us ready for an evening of Rick Astley…

Rick Astley Live Review The Piece Hall Halifax


The main man entered the stage at around 9pm, dressed sharply in a burgundy suit and brandishing a white guitar.  The Piece Hall was jam-packed, and the excitement levels were something else as he started things off with ‘Never Gonna Stop’.

He went early with one of his big hits, with ‘Together Forever’ following his opener. With that, the party and the good times had well and truly begun. Announcing he was going to pose for the photographers midway through the song, the night’s humour and feel-good had been set up for us there and then.

We were in for a treat. A 17 song set, a whole load of dancing, singing, and a number of laughs along the way.

Rick Astley Live Review The Piece Hall Halifax

“True entertainer”

The thing about seeing Rick Astley in concert is that it’s not just the songs you enjoy hearing.  You’re waiting to hear what he says between each number too, because he’s a true, down-to-earth entertainer as well as pop performer. “What a dump!” he exclaimed of the magnificent building he was playing in, before telling us “What an amazing place to do a concert – I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages!”

And he absolutely delivered a night that’ll go down as one of the best evenings that The Piece Hall has ever seen.  The 80s hits might be his best-known work, but his more recent tunes are just as good.  The fact the 6000-strong audience certainly enjoyed his newer music just as much.

‘Beautiful Life’ sounded amazing, and ‘Angels On My Side’ did too.  Earlier classics like ‘She Wants To Dance With Me’ and ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ gave us the singalong moments where everyone joined in. And we even got a couple of covers thrown in for good measure too. ‘Highway To Hell’, with Astley taking to the drums; and ‘Seventeen Going Under’ by Sam Fender went down a treat.

I was at this one with my wife, my 11 year old step-daughter and one of my best friends. It was a night that all of us could absorb and enjoy, and that’s always helped by watching someone who clearly still loves what he does, and is backed by a band that knows how to keep a crowd moving all night.

Rick Astley Live Review The Piece Hall Halifax

“A Rick Astley gig is something everyone should try at least once”

We had our slower moments here and there. ‘Cry For Help’ was as beautiful as it ever was, as was ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’. But, inevitably, that song we were all waiting for came at the end of the show.  A lengthy ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ absolutely brought the house down in Halifax. It also gave Astley the chance to introduce his brilliant band and backing singers. The song must have lasted a good 10 minutes or more, and we didn’t stop moving to it. The entire Piece Hall was so caught up in the mood, I think we’d have been happy if it went on for even longer.

We’d had a brilliant night, and a Rick Astley gig is something everyone should try at least once. Tonight is a testament to that. Last summer I saw Pulp at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, and I rate that as the best gig I’ve ever been to.  This one comes so close to that, it touches it.  The sound was excellent, the music even more so. Rick Astley was tremendous, and the atmosphere around The Piece Hall gave us one of the most upbeat and uplifting moments you could possibly experience.

For me, Rick Astley should play at The Piece Hall every year. Actually, scrap that. Let’s get him down here every week. A musician, a songwriter, a pop star and a showman.

At the end of the show, the screen thanked The Piece Hall. It also flashed up a message that really reflected our night.  It said: ‘We are winning at life tonight’.  And never has a truer word been spoken.

Thanks Rick. A truly fantastic night.

Images: Cuffe & Taylor/The Piece Hall


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