The Merriam Webster dictionary defines a boy band as “a small ensemble of men in their teens or twenties playing pop songs, especially for a young female audience.” The young female audience was an important demographic in the entertainment industry, from Frank Sinatra in the early 1940s to Elvis Presley in the mid-1950s.
Teenage girls who screamed at Westlife in the late 1990s and early 2000s are now in their late 30s and 40s (and their children have grown up, some of them last night at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. I was brought to the Westlife Show.). They are about the same age as the band they came to see. Shane Filan is 40 years old. Nicky Byrne is 41 years old. Kian Egan and Mark Feehily are both 39 years old.
Of course, that wasn’t a problem. Unless you want it.
Last night was about celebrating what happened before. It was a single two-hour journey down a memorable path, where the crowd and the youth of the band were revisited and reimagined.
The cynic may call it borderline karaoke or end up chilling. But in retrospect, the reality seemed more like pure pop music. It reminded us of something universal in people’s lives, while bringing a lot of unrealistic joy to 50,000 people last night.
“It’s been 20 years of hits,” the band’s long-term mentor and manager Louis Walsh told Independent.ie before the show. “This is the soundtrack to the lives of so many people.”
“Yes. Most of my life. All the songs I got with Simon Cowell. It worked. All the songs … and the fact that they can sing very well.”
What is the secret of Westlife?
“Songs. Great songs. I love hard work and music, I’m Irish and I’m in the band. All of their songs are hits.”
It all started at 8:30 pm with a special guest, Sugababes over warming the crowd. Just 20 years ago, when they played the number one “round round” in the UK, the British girl band got a lot of attention. When they finished the set, two songs were played on a huge speaker system that got a huge reaction from the crowd.
In Beyonce’s first “Single Ladies (with a ring)”, all the crowds, especially singles or other women, danced with their moms, hoping to be just minutes from the start.
But’not in front of a man! I feel like a woman! Shania Twain can be played to further enliven the audience. At 9 pm, the main attractions went up to the stage and fireworks were set off over the sold-out Aviva Stadium.
Music as Filan, Feehily, Egan, Byrne (in quirky black and white costumes) go straight to the soaring cozy atmosphere after a dance move choreographed by a huge slope protruding from the stage to the audience. There was also fireworks. The national anthem “Starlight”.
From time to time, the crowd became spiritual, despite a chunky, overly sentimental power ballad.
Following this, Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” Motown move appeared on lead vocals with Philan. Everyone was waving and swaying as the famous Foursome ran along the path of a huge ramp in the middle of the crowd.
It was a well-practiced harmony, and the next number, “When You’re Looking Like That,” spewed fire from the stage.
Byrne asked rhetorically at the end of the song: “Dublin, are you ready for this?” Before 50,000 fans gave an answer, Fiehilly told them: .. It’s been great to see people hugging, dancing and being together for the last three years. We are pleased to start our tour in Dublin. Thanks to you all, I’m going to sing a lot of number one tonight. “
“This was the fifth number one single,” he introduced “Fool Again.”
This was followed by “If I Let You Go” and then “My Love,” and Eagan told the crowd: And we waited for this special night for a full three years. Tonight is about having fun. Are you ready? ” they were.
Next was “I’m not going to say goodbye”.
After that, they went behind the scenes, changing from cowhide pattern outfits and returning to the expanded Abamedley.
Suddenly, Westlife is “Mamma Mia”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A man after midnight”, “Take a chance”, “Dream”, “Waterloo”. “Thank You for the Music” and finally “Dancing Queen”.
“Everyone has the Dancing Queen at home,” Eagan said when he released the latter song.
Then they left and reappeared five minutes later in colorful suits in front of a huge video screen of the movie’s straight apocalyptic rain. Blade Runner..
They performed “What About Now”. The orchestration could be The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony”.
Then Burn (looks like U2’s youthful Larry Maren) asked: “Dublin, how are you feeling? There are lots of flags from all over the world here tonight. I’m proud to be Irish. “”
He added that his mother was in Aviva and that football legend Robbie Keane was also present. “It’s his birthday.” It didn’t take long for the crowd to sing a happy birthday to him.
After that, they played “What Makes A Man”, an exciting “Unbreakable”, and a pop “World Of Our Own”. The latter “You make me happy” lyrics did what it was saying to the can, and the crowd wrapped it accordingly. Then it was a “wingless flight” and was delivered at the end of the ramp.
Fiehilly wished her mother, who was in the audience, a happy birthday. Then it was the encore of “Hello My Love” and “You Raise Me Up”, and the band was raising the Irish tricolor flag.
And they came back tonight to start over in Aviva. Westlife may be melancholy towards middle age (like fans), but their energy levels are still in the post-pubertal boy band category.
Limited tickets for concerts at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork on August 12th and 13th will continue to be available.