Boyzone is currently celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band with their farewell tour. Goodness gracious, 25 years is a really long time!
Best known for their romantic love songs back in the day, the 90s group – consisting of Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch, and Keith Duffy – treated Malaysian audiences with a trip down memory lane.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen boy bands come and go. Although the Irish group split in 1999, they regroup in 2007 and have withstood the test of time. Few in the music industry actually formed a true bond – strong enough to carry themselves over from the good ol’ “smash hits” days to today. To echo Generation Hush, Boyzone has “adapted their sound just enough to bridge that gap”.
Boyzone kicked off their performance at Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil with the 1997 hit “Picture Of You” and another cheeky tune “Love You Anyway”. Keating actually won an award for writing “Picture Of You”, which was also the main theme song for Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean movie – “Bean: The Ultimate Disaster”.
Having said that, a huge portion of Boyzone’s catalogue and setlist for their tour have been popular songbooks from other artists. They include Tracy Chapman (“Baby Can I Hold You”), Billy Ocean (“When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”), Anne Murray (“You Needed Me”), Bee Gees (“Words”), Cat Stevens (“Father And Son”), Johnny Bristol/Osmond Brothers (“Love Me For A Reason”) and more.
It was a grown up affair on Friday night (24th August) as concert-goers were largely adults in their 30s and older. The quartet on stage showed that they could still dig into their 1990s bag of tricks to get the audiences going. The classic move was pointing and smiling at the crowd and soliciting screams in return.
The singers also paid a heartfelt tribute to late band member, Stephen Gately, during “Gave It All Away”. He passed away in 2009 at age 33 due to a heart defect. It was touching hear that their departed member’s vocals were also added to the show.
Even though the entertainers performed a couple of synchronised dance moves, the show as a whole failed to reach levels of greatness. Don’t get us wrong, it was still good. Their interaction with the crowd, at times, felt rehearsed rather than natural.
Still, Keating’s signature husky voice was the highlight of the show. Throughout his career, the 41-year-old star has enjoyed the most success as a solo artist. He has also managed to maintain relevancy in pop culture as a coach on “The X Factor” Australia.
Unlike recent K-pop acts and mainstream pop stars, Boyzone may not be the boyband to send fans’ hormones soaring, but their journey is not over yet. During their farewell tour, the members announced that their imminent new album “Good Night and Thank You” is set to debut sometime in October or November. The co-penned track “Because” by Ed Sheeran was also performed that night.
On a final note, Boyzone concluded their show with the grandiose and life-affirming, “Who We Are”. They returned onstage moments later for an encore of 2 songs – “A Different Beat” and Keating’s “Life Is a Rollercoaster”.
We’re pretty sure the feel-good vibes managed to rubbed off on those in attendance as everyone stood up to celebrate the rousing closing number.