It all started back in 1993 in Dublin for the band who were being tapped up as the “Irish Take That” well, here we are twenty five years later and the band are heading out one final celebration of their chart-smashing career which, aside from a break from 2000-2007, has seen the Irish stars dominating the pop charts for the duration.
Having released their 25th anniversary album, the appropriately titled “Thank You & Goodnight”, the band are certainly pulling out all the stops for this run of shows before they call it a day. A Celtic style montage plays out to deafening screams from this packed arena, before the four friends lower onto the stage on a platform belting out opener “Who We Are”. The first thing you notice is the smiles across their faces as they drop from the ceiling and those smiles are there throughout the set even when they reference Stephen Gately. This is four friends who are clearly relishing every moment that they are on stage together none more evident than when Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch embrace during “Love Is A Hurricane”.
From start to finish this was always going to be a “best of” set of sorts. A celebration of 25 years at the top of their game, the set saw each of the four band members grab their own peice of limelight as they seperated to different areas of the stage before coming together to soak up the noise this crowd was making. With a twenty-five year catalogue to pull this set list from the band managed to touch on all areas of it as the likes of “All That I Need” rubbed shoulders with the likes of “Love” and “Talk About Love” from the “Thank You And Goodnight” album.
A heartwrenching tribute to their fallen brother Stephen Gately, left not one dry eye in the house and that includes the four members on stage while their rendition of “When The Going Gets Tough”, “Rollercoaster” and “Picture of You” brought this date on their final tour to a roof-raising finale and, while it was with heavy hearts that the band and their fans went their seperate ways, the four lads from Dublin said goodbye in the best way possible.
Review and Photos by Graham Finney