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Westlife – boyband or karaoke kings?

Croke Park, June 1, 2008

It took a rendition of Robbie William’s ‘Let me Entertain You’ to get the strong 85,000 crowd going, a bit of Wham to keep up the momentum and it took one of their new sloppy songs to get me out of Croke Park.
So Westlife were back on home soil celebrating the end of their world tour, and while they have ten years of albums and No. 1 hits to their name, the foursome cranked out golden disco hits like they were in some cheap karaoke bar. And the crowd loved it. Can these boys do no wrong?
Croke Park has witnessed everything from bloodshed to pitch battles through the years, yet the stadium was a sea of pink and ranging hormones with most dressed in matching t-shirts, bunny ears and globe sticks. It was like one giant hen party, with four bad strippers! Thankfully they kept their clothes on, but they did shake their behinds a lot, which was by no means a bad sight!
You can call Westlife whatever you want but they know their fan base and clearly have business acumen – the simple production was all colourful bright lights, fireworks and a two-hour long episode of chart topping hits to tickle everyone there, from the age of three 70 plus.
While their now classics such as ‘Flying without Wings’ were met with a chorus of screams and tears, some of their new songs (which I can’t remember) were met with the usual miming by avid fans who were trying to pretend that they knew each and every one of their songs. Westlife fans are dedicated, if anything!
Westlife are generally known as that band from Sligo with singers Mark and Shane, and the other two. However, Cian and Nicky, who are more accustomed to the front pages of OK!, were allowed to share the limelight – Cian was given a guitar, which he played fairly well while the true Dub enjoyed a few solo lines. It was all about sharing the love in Croker.
As far as concerts go, Westlife do it well without even trying. Their presence creates a carnival atmosphere, they play to the crowd and churn out all the songs to placate the tired looking parents while still appealing to the younger ones. It is a feat few manufactured boybands have achieved, and you can’t help but applaud their success to date.
The big question though now is when the party will end?
PS – as support acts go, you can’t get any hotter than Shayne Ward. Oh, and his singing is not half bad either! After appeasing the crowds with his top hits, he re-emphasised his Irish roots with a rendition of ‘The Fields of Athenry’. While he was giving it soul and high notes, the crowd could not help putting in their ‘IRA’ chant midway – some things never change.


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  1. BRILLIANT!! That decribes the concert exactly!
    ….except for one little point – you were singing along too Grainne!

    Congrats ladies, love the new mag!! Best of luck with it!!

    Posted by Tobi | June 4, 2008, 10:51 am