Arts & Leisure

Westlife: Still going strong

Posted on September 27, 2011

Few boy bands have careers that can last beyond their debut singles. But Irish all-male vocal group Westlife has defied the odds by remaining in the music business for more than 13 years.

Despite the departure of Bryan McFadden in 2004, the original members -- Nicky Bryne, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Shane Filan -- continued to work together as Westlife.

Since the group’s debut in 1998, Westlife has released 10 multiplatinum albums, had 14 #1 hits in the UK alone, and sold over 44 million albums worldwide.

After eight years, Westlife returns to the Philippines for a special one-night concert this Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

The concert is part of Westlife’s Gravity Tour to promote the group’s latest album of the same title.

The 46-city concert tour kicked off at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on March 7. Since then, Westlife has performed in the Arabian Peninsula, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Westlife began the Asian leg of its tour last Wednesday with a jam-packed concert at the Shanghai Indoor Stadium in China. The group then performed in Guangzhou and Beijing before performing tonight (Sept. 27) at the Asia World-Expo in Hong Kong.

After that, the group will fly to the Philippines for the concert this Thursday, before heading off to Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia to continue the world tour.

The group will then cap the six-month tour with a concert at the Hwajung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 9.

For the concert this Thursday, Westlife promises to perform its chart-topping singles, including "When Your Looking Like That" and "Flying Without Wings," as well as their hit versions of "Seasons in The Sun" and "Uptown Girl." The group will also perform a medley of covers of current hit songs like Rihanna’s "Ony Girl (in the World), Black Eyed Peas’s "The Time (Dirty Bit)," and Lady Gaga’s "Bad Romance."

And if the group’s die-hard Filipino fans prevail, Westlife might perform their favorites like "Swear it Again," "If I Let You Go," "Fool Again" and "My Love."

Tickets for Westlife Gravity Tour 2011 range from P6,360 to P640. For inquiries and reservations, contact Ticketnet at 911-5555. -- J. O. Valisno