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Time for boys to say goodbye ...

WESTLIFE are on fire. Well, not really. The burning effigies on stage are but a reminder of the night that's in it.

The boys themselves are standing at the top of a giant staircase. And they look excited. This is it, lads (and ladies).

This is where it all ends. Indeed, a collection of video interviews (well, you need something to distract the fans while the boys tie their shoe laces) tells us how amazing the past 14 years have been.

How much they'll miss it. How they're going out on top. And that last part is true ... to an extent.

The tears running down each of their faces as they offer their last goodbyes says that nobody in this group wants Westlife to go anywhere.

But then, boy bands can't stay together for ever. It ruins any chance of a comeback.

And though Westlife have never been the most exciting of pop groups (understatement of the year, that one), you'd have to be dead inside not to feel the slightest bit moved by their farewell speeches.

Yep, there's a lot of talk tonight (thank God there are only four of them left).

But it isn't nearly the amazing spectacle that it could have been.

It's a decent pop show in a stadium. The boys sing ballads, the fans wave their arms. The boys don some ridiculous shirts and tight jeans, everyone screams.

And then there are fireworks. In fact, there are a lot of explosions in this show.

But it's the little things that Nicky Byrne will miss, such as reading out the homemade banners.


Elsewhere, the lads perform a medley of other artists' hits (Robbie Williams' Let Me Entertain You -- good; The Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha -- not so good).

As far as farewell concerts go, it's somewhat lacking a certain punch, or theme.

Take That raised the bar -- and this is nowhere near it. Kian Egan's vocals sounded so pitch perfect they could have been pre-recorded, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

There's a second stage at the centre of Croke Park, and this is where the Westlife journey comes to an end.

We raise them up, they sing about home. And they're already there. For the last time.

See you in 10 years ...


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