We had joy. We had fun. We had seasons in the sun at The Araneta Coliseum last July 29 and 30. Why, you ask? Westlife, of course!
The Ireland-based boyband returned to Manila after eight years to celebrate their 20th anniversary with their Filipino fans. Westlife: The Twenty Tour kickstarted in their hometown last May and is currently on its Asia leg. Originally coming to Manila for a one-night-only concert, tickets sold out in just a few days, prompting the organizers to add one more show, making it a two-night stop in the Philippines.
Formed in 1998, Westlife disbanded in 2012 to focus on their personal lives. Now, they’re back with a brand new album coming up called ‘Spectrum’, which is set to be released in November this year, with eight or nine songs co-written by Ed Sheeran.
Shane Filan recently held a solo concert in Kia Theater last September 2018. This time around, it was four times the fun, as he brought Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne with him.
Although they are already in their late 30s and early 40s, they proved to their fans that they’ve still got it by giving us a show that got us titos and titas singing and screaming at the top of our lungs.
They kicked the show off in high spirits with a song from Spectrum called ‘Hello, My Love’. It was the perfect greeting song after a long hiatus!
The timing was perfect and the song choices were well-chosen, giving a rollercoaster of highs, lows, twists, and turns of feels. Their first set included ‘Swear It Again’, ‘What About Now’, ‘My Love’, and ‘When You’re Looking Like That’, as well as all-time iconic favorites ‘Up Town Girl’ and ‘If I Let You Go’.
The “Westlife sound” is still distinct in their new singles ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Better Man’. Five lucky fans were serenaded onstage, which got everyone screaming in envy! Still, we were happy for them, of course!
Sadly, not all of our favorite songs made it to the setlist; but to satisfy the fans they sang a few lines from songs like ‘I Lay My Love on You’ and ‘Seasons in the Sun’ a capella.
We all know how hard it is to belt out Queen songs, but the boys did it with so much ease and spectacle, and it was nothing short of amazing! ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘We Are the Champions’ were all part of their setlist.
After an extravagant Queen medley, they sat down on stools with a simple guitar as their background music. It was an intimate walk down memory lane. Included in this acoustic set were ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Fool Again’. They “ended” the show with an emotionally powerful ‘You Raise Me Up’. The song was made even more sentimental when they shared that they sang the piece together at the funeral of Kian’s and Nicky’s dads.
The lights turned off and the whole coliseum chanted “We want more!” in sync. A wing-like background suddenly popped on screen and started beating as if coming back to life. The boys went back onstage and then started their encore with ‘Flying Without Wings’. They ended the show on a high note as they invited everyone to get on their feet and sing along to ‘World of Our Own’.
The boys truly prepared for their comeback tour as seen not just in their powerful vocals and charming choreography, but also the overall production – which was breathtaking – from the change in costumes to the aesthetic and overwhelming backgrounds.
Back in the day, Westlife was with us when we needed a little cheese in our lives. Up to this day, we keep coming back to their music when we want to hear sweet, familiar melodies and lyrics that speak to our hearts.
Westlife: The Twenty Tour is a nostalgic celebration of 20 years of hits while waving hello saying, “We’re back and we’ll continue making good music for the world.”
Thank you, Westlife! Your music lives on for life. We can’t wait for what you have in store! Special thanks to Wilbros Live for making this concert possible!