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For one night I was an Uptown Girl
Westlife in Concert
Member Name: NikkiH
Westlife in Concert
Date: 04/05/02, updated on 04/05/02 (284 review reads)
Advantages: The band, The songs, The atmosphere
Disadvantages: Not one
Thanks to Jo1, I am now an Ebay addict, and much to my delight I managed to successfully bid for 4 tickets to their concert at Newcastle Arena on Monday 29th April, at the end of a colossal 5 night run run, and for the bargain price of £20 per ticket, compared to £25 from the box office. I went to the concert with my friend and her two daughters aged 6 and 14, and was probably more excited than them. To be truthful, I think I have reverted to being a teenager, and as much as I try to like so called credible music, I am drawn to Westlife and Gareth Gates.
Arriving at the venue, as always I was amazed at the cross section of people who were here to see the loveable Irish guys. We decided that the support group Six (yes there were 6, 3 boys, 3 girls, and very much like Steps), were not really our cup of tea, so we decided to have a look at the merchandise. I was pleasantly surprised to see that unlike many other concerts the prices were not extortionate. The most popular items seemed to be cowboy hats with a big W on the front priced at £5, or headbands with flashing W's attached to them, again priced at what I thought was a reasonable £5.
Becoming more excited we headed for our seats, and I was amazed when we were shown to some excellent seats only 5 rows from the stage. The concert was 'in the round' where the stage is in the middle, so pretty much everyone gets a good view, but 5 rows from the front would have been too much to hope for when I bid for the tickets.
At 8:45pm, the lights went down, and five globes which were on the stage were slowly winched into the air, and then out above the audience. The screaming was a deafening levels, and many of the youngers fans were so frenzied I worried for them!! We had guessed by now that the each band member was in one of the globes, and everyone was desperate to see if their favourite was above them. Then the fronts of the globes fell off to reveal each member of Westlife. Above us w
ere Nicky to the left, and the eternally grinning Kian to the right. In a split second, the globes were pulled back to reveal that the band were on harnesses, and they were winched over the crowd, and down on the stage where the launched into an amazing opener, 'World Of Our Own'.
In the middle of the show, they all donned jeans and leather jackets to sing a medley of 'Jailhouse Rock', 'Build Me Up Buttercup', Brown Eyed Girl', 'Wanna Be Startin Somethin', ending with 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and it was much better than it sounds, and the noise from the crowd showed their appreciation as the noise certainly went up a few decibels.
There was a good mix of tracks from all 3 albums, and the highlights for me were 'Angel', a cover of a Sarah McLachlan track, and their new single 'Bop Bop Baby', and obviously 'Flying Without Wings', where the band ditched the usual 'floating frame', and stood in the middle of the stage whilst it went up into the air. Then they announced that they had had a brilliant night, and they were off, but we all knew they would be back, and after a couple of minutes, they appeared back on stage for another 2 songs, with the finale being 'When You're Lookin Like That', complete with all 5 guys on hoists, doing gymnastics above the crowd whilst singing. It was truly an amazing sight, and a superb performance.
There were many costume changes, but the gaps were filled with short performances from the band's raunchy dancers.
The costumes were very theatrical, as was the whole show, and it became more of a performance rather than some guys standing on stage singing.
There were times when Bryan sounded that he was really pushing his voice, but I later discovered he is actually becoming quite hoarse, and is using a plum potion to help sooth his throat.
A brilliant night was had by all, and I am now a devoted fan an
d proud of it!!
There seems to be no stopping Westlife, they moved straight onto a 4 night stand at Sheffield, and then onto 5 nights at Glasgow, followed by 4 nights and Manchester and Birmingham, ending up with 4 nights at London's Earls Court, before going back to do some concerts in Belfast and Dublin. The new single 'Bop Bop Baby' is out on 17th May, and for up to date news on the band, check out www.westlife.co.uk.