Last week, thousands of Malaysians who grew up in the 1990s, a.k.a. the best era ever, gathered at the Malawati Indoor Stadium in Shah Alam for an unforgettable night.
Irish boyband Westlife took over the stage with their sold-out ‘The Twenty Tour Live in Kuala Lumpur’
show in front of some 14,000 fans across two nights.
The four members, Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, and Mark Feehily (who are obviously no longer boys) proved that they are still able to belt out their most popular hits when they were at the peak of their career.
In case you don’t remember, the last time Malaysians saw Westlife was in 2011 at their ‘Gravity Tour’.
Eight years later, the band finally said “Hello, My Love”.
‘The Twenty Tour’ is essentially to commemorate 20 years of Westlife’s music to prepare for their upcoming album, “Spectrum”. The album will have 11 tracks in total and six of which are written by Ed Sheeran, is also a co-producer.
No wonder their new tunes have such a familiar sound.
We were fortunate to be part of the strong crowd last week and to put it simply, it was a dream come true for the 90s kid in us. Here’s what we loved about the concert:
Well, you saw that coming, didn’t you?
It goes without saying that some of Westlife’s songs we couldn’t stop playing over and over again back in the day (by rewinding the cassette tape, mind you, Gen Z people) were the ones we saw at the edge of our seats for.
And boy, did the guys serve us their best.
We are talking about “Swear It Again”, “My Love”, “Uptown Girl”, “If I Let You Go”, “Fool Again”, “You Raise Me Up”, and “Flying Without Wings”.
We can literally hear these songs looping in our heads as we are writing this.
Besides the Westlife must-haves we just mentioned, the band also sang three tracks from their new album, “Hello, My Love”, “Better Man”, and “Dynamite”, which has electronic dance music (EDM) elements.
Two decades later, the new songs showed that the singers are still relevant, yet able to stay true to their identity. In other words, Westlife still sounds like Westlife without merely going through the motions of the music industry today.
Now, die-hard Westlife fans would know that the group is famed for doing song covers, especially when they first started.
They certainly treated us to an epic medley of some of Queen’s biggest hits, like “Radio Ga-Ga”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “We Will Rock You”, “Somebody To Love”, and “We Are The Champions”.
Yep, the Irish lads nailed the legendary British rock band’s most famous songs without choking!
Westlife performed 17 songs in total that night and we wish it lasted forever.
Since the band is not exactly known for dancing, their performances did not require them to move much on stage. But of course, we could not just expect them to sing motionlessly.
For this, we must commend the stage production. The giant LED screen strategically placed behind the members whenever they were singing or talking made it feel like they were standing right in front of us, especially the fans who were seated many, many feet away from the stage.
The graphics that accompanied each performance were a feast to the eyes. This made the entire show a lot more engaging and satisfying in many ways.
Last but not least, the lights! We caught ourselves getting lost in the amazing light show that was happening during the more upbeat performance. You would think that we were at a K-pop concert instead!
Overall, we applaud the production crew that must have spent months and months of blood, sweat and tears putting this show together.
What can we say? We Malaysians are very proud of the fact that we are great concert-goers.
We turn every concert into a large-scale karaoke session because we are not shy to scream our hearts out and sing along to every lyric we know. In fact, some of us would nudge our neighbours if they were either sitting or standing too still during the concert.
And come on, it is Westlife! Every person must know at least one song by them. So the echoes that accompanied their more popular songs brought chills to our spine.
If you don’t believe us, just go ahead and search fan clips from the concert on YouTube or Instagram. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about the goosebumps!
Of course, the best part about the concert was the Westlife members themselves.
In between their performances, they took the time to interact with the crowd and thank Malaysians for the warm hospitality, and also for helping them fulfill their dreams throughout their 20-year career.
And you know what? They still sound great live! Mark definitely stole the show on that night with his soothing voice and incredible riffs.
While this could quite possibly be the last time we see Westlife live in person (but one can hope!), we are really looking forward to the upcoming “Spectrum” album.
Till next time, Westlife, we won’t be letting you go.