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Westlife and their nostalgia-filled sold-out Manila concert

By Camille Santiago Published Feb 22, 2023 8:56 pm

“We’re all getting a little bit older, right? But not tonight. We’re gonna pretend we're like 19 tonight.”

Indeed, it was like a 90’s flashback when Westlife got on stage at the Big Dome for the second night of their sold-out “Wild Dreams Tour” in Manila. Fans filled the venue, all excited to see the Irish boy band perform live.

The crowd erupted in screams as Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne stepped out in their black and white Alexander McQueen graffiti outfits and began their show with confetti and Starlight from their 2021 album Wild Dreams—something to hype up the crowd.

They followed the number with a cover of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl and When You’re Looking Like That. At this point, everyone was up on their feet dancing and singing along as the electric energy ripples through the arena. Westlife kept saying that out of all the stops (so far) in this tour, Manila was “the loudest crowd.” 

Westlife then brought us back to our childhood singing more of their classic songs like Fool Again, If I Let You Go, and My Love.

“We’re going to bring you back to a time when I was even younger than 19. I was only 18 when we released this song,” Kian said, before singing their first-ever single, Sweat it Again.

Not just for the millennials

Fans were not just millennials like me. In the middle of the show, the boys interacted with the crowd and brought a lucky few on the stage. One of which was a a young boy named Dylan who went on stage to sing an acapella of Better Man. 

A 62-year old mother also got to see the boys up close, thanks to her daughter who held up a sign asking Westlife to hug the mom. Luckily, the boys granted the wish and even took a selfie with her. 

What followed after was a performance of ABBA’s greatest hits like Mamma Mia, Money Money Money, I Have a Dream, Waterloo, and Thank You For The Music. Westlife even sang club-favorites like Gimme Gimme Gimme and Dancing Queen which got the titos and titas of Manila swaying.

They then sang more hit songs like I Lay My Love On You, Seasons in the Sun, and World of Our Own.

For the final act, the boys belted it out with Hello My Love and their hair-raising rendition of Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up.

Still as good
@philstarlife #Westlife singing their greatest hits live once again! Thank you for an amazing show! 🤩 #thewilddreamtour #entertainment #manilaconcerts #entertainmentnewsph ♬ original sound - philstarlife

It’s my third time to see them perform live (Westlife was the first-ever concert I’ve been to in 2000s), but speaking for myself and the thousands of fans who filled the Araneta Coliseum, it still feels so surreal. 

The boys may be in their 40s but they still have it—from their euphonious vocals to their choreography, down to their charms. It just proves that they’re better performers with age. The 10-year-old in me would be happy this happened.