Westlife Review at Aviva Stadium: A two-hour singalong trip down the memory lane, where youth is revisited and re-imagined

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a boy band as “a small group of men in their teens or twenties that play pop songs specifically aimed at a young female audience”. The young female audience has been an important demographic of the entertainment industry since Frank Sinatra in the early 1940s to Elvis Presley in the mid-1950s.

The teenage girls who used to scream their best at Westlife in the late 1990s and early 2000s are now in their late 30s and forties (and grown kids, some of whom have been taken to gigs. Westlife last night at Aviva Stadium in Dublin). They were almost the same age as the band they went to see. Shane Filan 40 years old; Nicky Byrne 41 years old; Kian Egan and Mark Feehily are both 39 years old.

Of course, it doesn’t matter. Unless you want it.

Last night was to celebrate the past. It’s a two-hour ride down the memory lane where the crowd — and the band — youth are revisited and re-imagined.

Skeptics might call it karaoke at the border or downright nasty. But on reflection, reality seems almost akin to pure pop music, which has returned to something common in people’s lives once upon a time while giving last night’s 50,000 people a lot of strange joy. often.

“It’s been twenty years of success,” the band’s longtime mentor and manager, Louis Walsh, told Independent.ie before the show. “This is the soundtrack to so many people’s lives.”

Including Walsh’s?

“Yes. A big part of my life. Every song I have with Simon Cowell. It just works. All the songs… and the fact that they can sing so well.. ”

What is Westlife’s secret?

“Songs. Great songs. Work hard and love music and be Irish and be a band. All of their songs are hits.”

It all started at 8:30pm with special guests, The Sugababes, who warmed up the crowd the most. The British girl band received a huge backlash when they played “Round Round”, which hit number 1 in the UK exactly 20 years ago. When they finished their choreography, two songs played through the giant speaker system received a huge response from the crowd.

Video of the day

The first season, Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ made all the crowds – especially ladies, single or otherwise – mom dance in anticipation of just a few minutes to go. head.

But not before ‘Man! I feel like a woman!’ Shania Twain’s can be played to further draw crowds. At 9 p.m., the main attractions put on a fireworks display at the sold-out Aviva Stadium.

There were also musical fireworks as Filan, Feehily, Egan and Byrne (dressed in quirky black and white) performed a choreographed dance on the giant ramp that juts out into the audience from the stage before going straight. into the pleasant, soaring space of the national anthem ‘Starlight’.

Even so, sometimes the emotional, overly sad ballad caused the crowd to become tense.

Followed by the flexible Motown dance moves in the song ‘Uptown Girl’ by Billy Joel with Filan as the main vocal. People were waving and swaying as the famous quartet raced along the giant ramp into the midst of the crowd.

Fire stepped off the stage in the next issue of ‘When You’re Looking Like That’, with well-rehearsed harmonies.

Byrne eloquently asks at the end of the song: “Dublin, are you ready for this?” Before 50,000 fans could come up with an answer, Feehily told them: “Honestly, guys, it’s great to hear that noise after three years. It’s great to see everyone hugging, dancing and being together after the past three years. We are delighted to be starting our tour in Dublin. Tonight we will sing a lot of numbers, thank you. “

“This is the fifth number one single,” he said as he introduced “Fool Again.”

It was followed by “If I Let You Go” and then “My Love” before Egan told the crowd: “We’ve been together 23 years. And we’ve waited a full three years for this special night. Tonight, it’s about fun. Are you ready for that?” They did.

Followed by ‘I’ll never say goodbye’.

After that, they left the stage to change into cowhide costumes to return to the Abba Open.

Suddenly, it was like a hen night for 50,000 people as Westlife drew their attention through ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight”, “Take A Chance On Me”, “I Have A Dream”, “Waterloo”, ‘Thank You For The Music’, and finally ‘Dancing Queen.’

“Everyone, the dancing queen is in the house,” Egan said as he announced the second track.

Then they disappeared, only to reappear 5 minutes later in colorful clothes in front of the giant video screen of the post-apocalyptic rain right in the movie. Blade Runner.

They performed ‘What About Now’. Orchestra Could Be The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ The Next Song Could Never Be In A Million Years From Richard Ashcroft But Still ‘Mandy’ (popularized by Barry Manilow in the 1970s) caused all the crowd to wave the phone lights continuously.

Then Byrne (who looks like the young Larry Mullen of U2) asked: “Dublin, how are you feeling? I see a lot of flags from all over the world here tonight. It makes me proud to be Irish. “


Westlife plays Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Friday, July 8, 2022. Photo: Photocall Ireland

He added that his mother was in Aviva and football legend Robbie Keane was also present. “It’s his birthday.” It wasn’t long before the crowd was singing happy birthday to him.

They then played ‘What Makes A Man’, the vibrant ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘World Of Our Own’. The later lyrics “You make me feel happy” did what it said on the tin and the crowd applauded it accordingly. Then it was ‘Flying Without Wings’, delivered at the end of the ramp.

Feehily wished her mother, who was present in the auditorium, a very happy birthday. Then came the encore of ‘Hello My Love’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ with the band holding the tricolor Irish flag.

And they’ll be back tonight to do it all again in Aviva. Westlife may be heading towards middle age (like their fans) in a depressing way, but their energy levels remain in the post-puberty boy group category.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-reviews/westlife-at-aviva-stadium-review-a-two-hour-singalong-trip-down-memory-lane-where-youth-was-re-visited-and-re-imagined-41826845.html Westlife Review at Aviva Stadium: A two-hour singalong trip down the memory lane, where youth is revisited and re-imagined

Fry Electronics Team

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