FLAMING ’eck! Chart kings Westlife really were fired-up for the first of three goodbye concerts in Sheffield - when figures of Ireland’s fab four went up in flames to signal the end, writes Graham Walker
And that was just the start of this spectacular last production at the Motorpoint Arena.
After 14 years of pop domination, Kian Egan, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Nicky Byrne finally emerged for real, opening with What Makes A Man and then took fans on a trip down a memory lane of hits, complete with synchronised dance moves.
The sing-a-long included highlights Uptown Girl, Queen of My Heart, When You’re Looking Like That, Mandy, You Raise Me Up, World Of Our Own and fitting finale, Flying Without Wings.
At one stage the band ended up soaring across the Arena floor on a makeshift spaceship, as they jetted in to party.
This was never going to be a sombre farewell.
Let’s face it, they had a lot to celebrate in an hour and 45 minutes, what with 26 top ten hits, including 14 number one singles, 11 top five albums, seven of which hit the top spot and over 44 million record sales, with 10 sell out tours.
It’s difficult to image Westlife getting booed, especially by their own fans. But booed they were at any mention that this was the end.
In truth it’s probably a well-earned break and when Shane insisted ‘this isn’t goodbye’, the roar of approval from fans almost raised the roof.
Westlife will be back in Sheffield for two final shows, on Saturday, May 19 and Tuesday, June 12.
Tickets priced £41.50 are limited. See www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or call 0114 256 56 56 to book.
Set list: What About Now; What Makes A Man; My Love; Safe; Uptown Girl; If I Let You Go; Ain’t That a Kick in the Head; Queen Of My Heart; Unbreakable; (Medley) I Gotta Feeling, Sex On Fire, Don’t Cha, Let Me Entertain You, Bohemian Rhapsody; When You’re Looking Like That; Mandy; Seasons in the Sun; Swear It Again; Home; Encore: You Raise Me Up; World Of Our Own; Flying Without Wings.