Robbie Williams has said he is ‘grateful for the Jewish people’ as he performed a long-awaited show in Tel Aviv.
The star took to the stage for his first show in eight years in Yarkon Park on Thursday night.
He was dressed in gold with a slinky scarf wrapped around his neck as he made a bold entrance.
Robbie Williams performs live in Tel Aviv, Israel, on June 1, 2023. (Photo by Koko/Flash90)
Opening his 90-minute show, he shouted out: “My name is Robbie f*cking Williams, yalla balagan!”. Yalla Balagan loosely means “let’s do this” or “let’s go” in Hebrew.
The 49-year-old then made repeated jokes about his older years and looked back on his past as a teenage icon in Take That. He joked: “Tonight will be therapy for me.”
Williams also joked with the audience, asking for words in Hebrew before shouting them out.
Addressing the crowd, he said: “As an outsider coming in, you have something incredibly f*cking special here. I went for a walk the other night.
“I noticed a peace here, there is a peace here that I don’t feel in London, that I don’t feel in Los Angeles.
“Considering as a people you have so much going on, there is a calm, and a sincerity… Just by this walk, I felt you, I know who you are, I know how you are, and you mean an awful lot to me. It’s always really special coming out.”
Williams also mentioned his Jewish wife Ayda Field and four children and stressed the importance of keeping Jewish traditions alive.
British popstar Robbie Williams and Israeli singer Noga Erez, in Tel Aviv, on May 31, 2023. (Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/FLASH90)
He continued: “My wife is Jewish, so my kids are Jewish. I like to keep some of the traditions going in the family, just out of respect for you guys and their history.” Immediately after, he revealed a tattoo on his wrist with the word “simcha” which means happiness in Hebrew.
The star went on to say: “I’m very grateful for you being there over the years… and very grateful just for you as a people, God bless you.”
Songs sung by Williams included Let Me Entertain You, Millennium, Do What You Like, Love My Life, Candy and Supreme.
Robbie Williams surprises an Israeli busker playing his song Angels in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/WeQ89JRkqR— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) May 31, 2023
On Wednesday, Williams made a surprise appearance with a Tel Aviv busker at the city’s beach singing the hit song “Angels” from his 1997 debut solo album.