Sunday 21 July 2019

World of their own: Westlife fans flying without wings

Uptown girls: Claire Doherty, Donegal; Gemma Kenny, Longford; and Lauren Doherty from Donegal; enjoying the Westlife Twenty Tour in Croke Park. Photo: Mark Condren
Uptown girls: Claire Doherty, Donegal; Gemma Kenny, Longford; and Lauren Doherty from Donegal; enjoying the Westlife Twenty Tour in Croke Park. Photo: Mark Condren
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Chart-toppers Westlife proved they really are in a 'world of their own' after they made a triumphant homecoming to Croke Park in front of 75,000 fans.

The reformed manband saved the best for last after finally bringing their Twenty Tour to Dublin after playing 31 dates all over Europe.

Banner girl: A fan displays an 'Up Sligo' banner at the concert in Croke Park last night. Photo: Mark Condren
Banner girl: A fan displays an 'Up Sligo' banner at the concert in Croke Park last night. Photo: Mark Condren

Having promised fans something extra-special for their Croker gigs, they created a bespoke production just for their two Irish dates, complete with two stages, extra-large screens and pyrotechnics.

Their 13th tour to date, they've already sold half a million tickets as the Westlife juggernaut shows no sign of stopping despite their 20 years in the business.

And it was a double celebration for band member Shane Filan, who celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday, as his three children surprised him with a cake on stage for the milestone occasion.

Excited fans from all over Ireland and beyond started pouring into the stadium with soaring temperatures ensuring a party atmosphere among attendees. For many, it was a mother-and-daughter occasion, with those who had grown up listening to Westlife's music now enjoying it with their kids in tow.

Support act James Arthur got the crowd warmed up before the guys took to the stage at 9pm, sparking deafening cheers. Band members Shane, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne got the show started in style by launching into their first single in eight years, 'Hello My Love', penned by Ed Sheeran.

Accompanied by shooting fireworks from the top of the stage and dressed in matching military jackets, they moved effortlessly from one hit to the next including 'Swear it Again' and 'What About Now' before addressing their adoring fans.

"Good evening Croke Park. Wow...that is all I can say," Kian told the crowd.

Digging deep into their repertoire of hits, they moved onto 'My Love', which is nearly 20 years old and one of their earliest hits - and still a crowd pleaser. They moved through a medley of songs and saved the best for last, bringing the curtain down on their show with their mega-hit 'Flying Without Wings'.

Irish Independent

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