Westlife love remains

15 Aug 2019 / 10:16 H.

AFTER a remarkable 20 years in music, the Westlife fever is still going strong. Irishmen Shane Filan, Mark
Feehily, Nicky Byrne, and Kian Egan made millennial dreams come true during Westlife’s The Twenty Tour in Malaysia last Friday night at Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam.

Performing in front of 14,000 concertgoers on the second night of its two-show stopover, the band from Sligo, Ireland celebrated 20 years of hits.

The boyband to whom practically every Malaysian millennial grew up listening showed that its music will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans.

“We want you to go crazy tonight. We want you to have your best Westlife concert ever tonight,” said Filan, before the band launched into the popular hit, My Love.

From Swear It Again, What About Now, and Queen of My Heart, to covers that Westlife made its own like Uptown Girl and You Raise Me Up, the night was poised for sing-alongs and much love for the band.

After the quartet changed to black and red outfits for a pumping performance of Uptown Girl, Feehily said: “This concert is Westlife’s way of saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’ to every single fan in the world.

“We’ve been doing concerts all over the place, just to say thank you for twenty years of support.”

The band also performed three new singles from its anticipated eleventh album SpectrumHello My Love, Better Man, and Dynamite.

The three new tracks were co-written with ever-in-demand English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, with the full album slated for a November release.

Singing a Westlife song is probably like riding a bicycle. You never really forget the lyrics, and launching into one of its songs just takes a bit of vocal pedalling.

Without missing a beat, the audience sang along extra loud whenever prompted by any of the Westlife members, or whenever a mic was turned towards them.

Besides being the seasoned professionals that they are on stage, the four men also shared a glimpse of their charming personalities when they took a break from singing and had a little audience interaction.

During Byrne’s banter, he spoke about Westlife’s journey over the last 20 years, and how the songs “bring us back to those days that we were teenagers”, adding that “it’s a real special feeling that we can re-live and do it all again here.

“Thank you so much for all the love and support for us, because we tell our families back home, what it’s like for Westlife around the world, and nobody really understands it until you’ve been here and you witness a Westlife show.”

Before one of its newer songs, Better Man, Byrne also gave a sweet shout out to his wife, Georgina Byrne, revealing that it was their wedding anniversary.

“Speaking of family, today is my 16th wedding anniversary. My wife is at the other side of the world now at home,” he said before asking his fans filming to send it over to her social media.

“And this message to my wife saying – Gean, love you! Happy Anniversary, I’ll be home soon!”

It really never gets old to see the look on performers’ faces as they turn at each other on stage when the whole stadium sings their song in unison – especially after two decades, a testament to Westlife’s magnetic appeal.

And all the lovely moments – too many to write about – littered throughout the concert just make one want to fall in love

with Westlife all over again.

Westlife is certainly one band whose concert I would catch again, and to whom I would never say goodbye.

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