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Review: Boyzone at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle

Boyzone were back in Newcastle on their 20th anniversary tour. Sophie Doughty found out the lads were looking forward, not back

Ronan Keating performing at the Metro Radio Arena with Boyzone
Ronan Keating performing at the Metro Radio Arena with Boyzone

The last time I went to Newcastle Arena to see Boyzone I made my way to the front row seats I had queued overnight for, clutching a homemade banner declaring my love for Ronan and a teddy to throw on the stage.

Sixteen years on, and despite many hours spent waiting outside hotels, having not become Mrs Keating, I jumped at the chance to see if the objects of my teenage obsession could still create the same magic.

Like the thousands of 30-something former Boyzone fans who flocked to Newcastle Arena to see Ronan, Shane, Keith and Mikey on Saturday night I was hoping the band would use their 20th anniversary tour as a chance to take us back to the 90s and perform the songs we had loved in our teens in their now older following.

The lads however had other ideas.


Boyzone opened their set with Nothing Without You, a song from their 2010 album, Brother.

And after that the show was dominated by new tracks from their BZ20 album interspersed with their classic hits, making it clear that for Boyzone this tour was as much about looking forward, and establishing themselves as a credible grown-up band, as it was about looking back.

But first-time-round fans were however treated to flawless versions of Words, Picture of You, When The Going Gets Tough, Baby Can I Hold You, You Needed Me and No Matter What and Love Me For A Reason.

In the 90s the boys’ vocal ability became irrelevant as the deafening screams in the arena drowned out their voices.

But last night all four lads showed that 20 years had only made them better singers, and Ronan’s voice was definitely the highlight of the show.

And where in the past the blond front-man dominated the lead vocals, all four members of the band took their turn to sing, and looked in their element to get the chance to take the mic.

Of course last time I saw Boyzone they were a five-piece. And memories of late bandmate Stephen Gately, who died in 2009, formed a big part of Saturday’s show.

Fans choked back tears as the lads reflected on memories of their lost friend on stage. And the most emotional moment of the night came when Boyzone performed Gave It All Away with Stephen’s recorded vocals.


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