Before the major heartbreak Jonas Brothers and One Direction brought upon the world when they disbanded, the 90s kids had to endure seeing their favorite boy bands break off one by one as the years went by.
Indeed, the 90s was the golden age of pretty boys singing cheesy lyrics and catchy pop melodies in matching outfits. The music scene now is far from before and we rarely see them doing music nowadays, but luckily for us titos and titas, they still get together from time to time to give their fans a good show. One of the most successful boy bands back in the day was Boyzone.
When my Pa returned from Qatar in 1998, he brought me the Where We Belong album. I literally grew up listening to Boyzone. Imagine Sunday mornings and 10-hour road trips to the North without changing your music.
I remember crying upon learning Stephen Gately’s passing in 2009. No Matter What was the first piece I learned to play on the guitar. And up until now, I still play and sing along to the Your Favorite Boy Bands playlist on Spotify at least once a week.
I was 3 when I first heard them. 20 years later, I’m finally saying hello for the first time and goodbye at the same time to a huge part of my childhood.
On August 26, 2018, Ovation Productions brought the Irish boyz back to Manila. Now on their 25th anniversary and their farewell tour; Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, and Shane Lynch serenaded their Filipino fans together one last time at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The concert was everything the 90s music fan in me could ask for. It brought back memories of the good ol’ days.
“Didn’t they say that I would make a mistake ”- first line and the whole arena went screaming. I even heard girls sobbing.
Their voices and dance moves made boys and girls of all ages kilig.
Don’t even get me started with Ronan Keating’s winks and flying kisses.
Their touching tribute to brother Stephen Gately stung a little bit and got thousands of eyes teary. They also introduced us to their newest and final album, Thank You & Goodnight.
The talented and super lucky Christian Bautista did not just open for them; he shared the stage with them singing their greatest hit No Matter What.
There was a moment during the concert when the camera zoomed into Ronan’s face. I saw fine lines – fine lines earned through the 25 years on his still so dashing, beautiful face.
In the midst of the wild crowd and loud sound system, I thought, “They’ve aged. And so have I. And so have all of their fans.” It got me thinking, “25 years. I’m not even 25 yet. A lot has happened in those 25 years. So many things have changed and yet so many things have also remained the same.”
Where are they now? Where are we now? Shane now competes in motor racing. Maybe you became boss of your own company in 2016. Keith has become an autism awareness advocate. Maybe you started volunteering for the community in 2007 and loved it. Mikey has become a dad. Maybe you started to build a beautiful family of your own in 2011. Ronan still does music. Maybe you’re still with the same woman you married in 1998.
Remembering the glory days just really makes you nostalgic and appreciative of how far you’ve come.
Even after their heyday, Boyzone and the 90s boybands have been there for us whenever we needed them – when we were on a high after a first date, when we called it quits with our SOs, and even when we got back with them a few days later. They were there.
That is the magic of the 90s boy bands; they will always have a special place in our hearts. Cassettes and CDs may go out of date, but we will always go back to our boys, playing their music on Youtube or Spotify even when they’re long gone.
To Ronan, Stephen, Shane, Keith, and Mikey, your music will forever be part of us, No Matter What.