These days the 41-year-old is more commonly seen fronting 'manband' Take That or giving his opinion on singing talent as an X Factor judge.
And although Barlow has received high praise from the critics for his performances, on Tuesday it was a reversal of roles as the singer thanked those who came to see him at his Waterfront Hall concert.
Before he took to the stage, Gary tweeted saying "Ahhh Belfast so nice to be back! Looking forward to a cracking evening!"
The extensive set list covered old favourites from both of Take That's lives and his own solo material.
Barlow, who received an OBE last June for services to the entertainment industry and to charity, was backed by a band who gave an impressive swing sound when he took on a big band medley.
The singer also performed A Million Love Songs, which he penned at the age of 15 and has since been voted the greatest ballad of all time.
Gary has also had singing success without his Take Take colleagues, with two number one albums and on Tuesday he performed hits including Open Road and Lie to Me.
As he chatted with the audience throughout the concert, the singer also threw in a few curveballs, like his version of Forever Autumn - which he covered for the remake of the War of the Worlds.
Fans were also surprised to hear Candy, which was a solo number one for his Take That bandmate Robbie Williams, but the former feuding pair joined forces to write the hit.