Not even Typhoon Ompong prevented the loyal fans of singer Shane Filan from attending his recent concert at the Kia Theater. The former Westlife lead singer returned to the country for a two-night concert in Manila and Davao to promote his latest album, Love Always.
Before going solo, Shane rose to fame as one of the lead singers of the Irish boyband Westlife. The group was formed in 1988 and included members Kian Egan, Markus Feehily, Nicky Byrne, and Brian McFadden.
Unfortunately, after 14 No. 1 singles and over 44 million records sold worldwide, the group decided to disband in 2011. The members went their separate ways, either following a different venture or pursuing a solo career in the music industry. Filan did the latter, signing deals and releasing three solo albums: You and Me (2013), Right Here (2015), and Love Always (2017).
Shane still makes hearts swoon
The 39-year-old performer opened the show with three of his solo songs, “Everything To Me,” “About You,” and “Unbreakable.” The rest of the set list showcased his well-rounded singing abilities, covering songs such as Lady Antebellum’s breakthrough song, “Need You Now,” Bryan Adam’s massive ‘80s hit, “Heaven,” and NSync’s top ballad, “This I Promise You.”
Though it would not be a Shane Filan concert without a medley of Westlife’s biggest hits. The audience erupted in pure joy when he performed and brought back all the band’s most popular songs such as “Swear It Again,” “If I Let You Go,” “My Love,” “Uptown Girl,” and “World Of Our Own.”
At one point during the concert, Shane encouraged the crowd to sing along to another fan favorite, “Fool Again,” a song that was not included in the original setlist. “I heard you singing it before I came on so let’s sing it together. You might know the words,” he said. The fans earlier sang the song when they thought that the singer was about to start the show. Instead, they were greeted by a foreign staff from his team, who was making stage arrangements at the time.
A lucky fan also got the chance to meet and greet the singer on stage. The fan caught Shane’s attention with a big, white banner saying that she’s been waiting to get a hug from him for 16 years. The fan’s husband was later invited to the stage for that obligatory group-fie.
World-renowned singer Jed Madela, who performed his new songs during the front act, later joined Shane for a heart-wrenching duet of “Flying Without Wings,” for which the Irish singer lauded Jed for his powerful voice.
Talking to an ecstatic crowd of die-hard fans, Shane revealed that his visits to the Philippines have always felt like coming home. “You guys are such supporters of Westlife. Every time we come to Manila, it does feel like a home to me,” Shane shared. “I know where I’m going. I know what the city is like. I know what the people are like. It’s like my second home.”
This is his third time performing in the country as a solo artist. The first was in 2014 and the second was this February to promote his album. The Philippines was the last stop of a series of Shanes international concerts this year.
“You guys don’t realize how good of a crowd you are. The place is packed and everyone is smiling at me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many happy people,” he said. “It makes me happy too, it makes me smile. If you noticed I’m smiling a lot, too.”
Just when the night was getting better, the show drew to a close. Shane expressed his gratitude for the warm reception, even after 20 years into his singing career both as a Westlife member and a solo artist. “You guys are not like any fans in the world. You’re different,” Shane said. “You’re just amazing. Thank you!”