The Irish boy band performed many of their mega hits at the Coca Cola Arena to thousands of fans
In it’s simplest form, music is a major source of entertainment, a form of escapism from our sometime humdrum lives.
However, Westlife, the ageless boy band from Ireland, went that extra mile to enchant a sell-out crowd of over 10,000 fans at the Coca Cola Arena in the fashionable City Walk district of Dubai, with a concert brimming with pop dominance.
With lilting ballads and popular covers dominating the 90-minute set, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne, joyously celerated their two decades at the top of the music charts with a string of hits highlighted by ‘Sweat It Again’, ‘If I Let You Go’, ‘Fool Again’, ‘World Of Our Own’ and the ultimate crowd-pleaser, ‘Flying Without Wings’, the lead single from their self-titled No 1 album from 1999.
In a recent interview, Egan boasted that Westlife wanted to conquer the world through their Twenty Tour, which would visit 51 of the largest indoor arenas and stadiums across Europe and Asia.
“We will get to everyone eventually,” Egan proclaimed. “Every country that wants to see Westlife will see us at some point. We won’t step away from this until we’ve managed to tour the world.”
And they’re getting there.
The anniversary tour, their 13th overall which kicked off in May at Belfast in Ireland, has visited 14 European countries, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, prior to arriving in Dubai.
Despite such an exhaustive tour schedule, Westlife looked and sounded eager, vigorous and enthusiastic as they delivered standards from albums that have sold in excess of 55 million worldwide.
And the adorning fans, young and old, boys and girls, did not have to wait long to listen to their favourite tracks as Westlife stormed onto a stage that drew heavily on state-of-the-art lighting techniques that provided lavish colour washes and tones which are an important aspect of live concerts.
‘Swear It Again’, ‘My Love’, the Billy Joel cover ‘Uptown Girl’ and ‘If I Let You Go’ wowed the crowd and had them pumped up early as they joined in the singing.
Despite the fact that Westlife performed to backing tracks in the absence of a live band, they sounded electric and riveting in the many costumes that they paraded.
The middle part of the gig featured an energetic medley of songs made popular by the British rock band Queen, including ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Radio Gaga’, ‘I Want to Break Free’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’ that you could hardly hear the band sing thanks to the crescendo of voices from the packed indoor arena. It was tremendous.
A selection of ballads, led by the Abba cover, ‘I Have A Dream’, ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Fool Again’, allowed the fans to settle down and feast on the Irish popstars.
The sound at the Coca Cola Arena and the camera work was undeniably top notch and allowed you to fully take in what you were seeing, even from the upper levels of the venue.
It was pretty awesome overall.
Filan, Feehily, Egan and Byrne are great and talented entertainers, which they demonstrated in the final two songs of an unforgettable night, the mega hits ‘Flying Without Wings’ and ‘World Of Our Own’.
By the time the concert was over, I guess most of us felt drained, but still flying high!