Lifestyle Blog from the Philippines

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Boyzone's Farewell (?) Asian Tour - Manila

Back when I was in college, boy bands were a big thing. While I did have a love for NSYNC, the group I was a big fan of in those days was the Irish group Boyzone. I remember my planners were filled with photos of the guys and I saved up my allowance so that I could buy their CDs. I used to stay at home if I knew they had a TV appearance whenever they were in the country so I could watch them (this was a time when YouTube was not yet a thing kids). 

I always wanted to watch their shows back then, but I didn’t have any money for it and my parents weren’t willing to pay for it either. Even when they came back during the times when I was already working, I wasn’t earning enough to make it to a show, plus I now lived in the province which was too far away from the concert venues. When I found out that they would be back this year for a farewell tour, I knew that it was now or never.  I decided that I would gladly make do with the long commute (2-3 hours trip) to the venue just to see them! I bought two tickets with a credit card for the VIP seats and decided to watch their concert with my younger sister, who has proclaimed Boyzone as the music of her childhood because it was all I listened to when she was a young girl.

It was a simple show. No fancy set or costumes, just the guys and their band, with videos being played in the background. I didn’t mind at all. The simpler setup made it feel like a more personal experience for me. It was great to be around people like me who loved Boyzone in their youth and were sharing the experience with their families. I met several moms who were there with their kids, just as I was there with my younger sister. Hats off also to the supportive husbands and boyfriends who were game enough to sing and dance along during the show in support of their significant other's favorite band.

Me and My Date

I loved hearing the songs that I loved from back in the day. It took me back to my younger years and I couldn’t help but sing along with everything that they performed. It was great to finally see my favorite boys (now men, really) up close and personal. It was nice seeing them as mature men this time around. It’s like seeing old friends again after so long. I would have loved to have been able to shake their hands, but I wasn’t that close enough to the stage for that to have been possible. I bought tickets on the first day that they were released but (sadly) I couldn’t get one close enough to the stage even if I bought my tickets that first day (in the morning at that). I was panicking so much about not getting close enough seats to be honest because this was my last chance to see them live and I didn’t want to miss a thing!

My sister raved at how handsome Ronan Keating was in person, shouting out that he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen in her life (lucky lady, Storm Keating). I was reminded of my unfinished book that was inspired by some songs from their A Different Beat album. I was also surprised by how Keith Duffy seems to have become more handsome with age. We both laughed at how the boys now had "Daddy Moves" that were smaller and slower than the moves they used to make back in the day. Hey, I grew old too and they are all pretty much the same age as I am (Ronan and I were born in the same year) so I am not complaining! Aging happens! Hahaha!

I was a little frustrated at first when none of the people were standing up during the show. By the time they performed Love Me For A Reason, I just had enough of it. I stood up along with a few other people and thankfully, everyone else did the same thing. It was much more fun to watch and enjoy the show at that point. I wish we could have all stood up sooner!

There were several highlights to the show. One was when they paid tribute to the late Stephen Gately, who had passed away a few years back. Another was when they brought out Christian Bautista to sing along with them for No Matter What, which was chilling because for some reason he sounded so much like Stephen while he was singing with the group.

I loved the part where they sang Father and Son. I couldn’t help but look back on the fact that they used to sing the song as young boys and now they are fathers already. Talk about full circle. I heard that Ronan brought out his youngest during the performance of that song in Singapore. That must have been a moving sight to see. 

According to the promotional material for the concert, this was to be the last one for the band as they were breaking up after releasing the latest album Thank You & Goodnight in November. However, during the concert, Ronan said that they plan to be back after the album is released to promote it. Does this mean that they changed their minds? Or just that they would be back for one truly last concert? I would be watching that show too if it is going to happen!

I felt so bad that there was no meet and greet for the concert here in Manila. I would have loved the chance to meet them and take photos with them. Maybe have my books signed too (including Ronan's Life is a Rollercoaster).

I've seen photos of meet and greets in other Asian countries so it was really sad that we didn't have one here considering it is a farewell tour. I would have happily paid extra for it. I had asked the local producer, Ovation Promotions, but they said they were not advised of a meet and greet. I wonder why. I hope that they will have one next time (if there is one). I can’t really complain about the producers of the show. I’ve been to a couple of other concerts (that were not produced by Ovation) and they haven’t been as organized as this one has been. This was a well-oiled machine compared to some of the other shows I’ve been to.

It was a great show. The young girl from 25 years ago who couldn’t watch their shows is now happy. My heart is full of music and the lovely experience that I got to share with my sister. I really hope that they can come back again next year. Hopefully, by then I can sit closer to the stage!


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