What we thought of ‘Boyzone Live In Sri Lanka’
Once in a while, you come across this band that defies the laws of rationality and remains somewhat of an oddity when it comes to their popularity.
Boyzone is definitely one of those.
Since ruling the Pop world during the 90s (when boy bands had become a musical phenomenon) and witnessing remarkable success second only to ‘Take That’ in the European boy band circuit, probably their biggest fan base still remains abroad, rather than their country of birth, Ireland. So it’s no fluke that they decided to make Sri Lanka one of their destinations on their 25th Anniversary and Farewell Tour; you’d be hard pressed to find anyone from urban Sri Lanka who hasn’t heard of Boyzone!
The concert was held at the CR & FC Grounds yesterday (16 August 2018) and expectedly, to an almost sold-out audience. It was organised by DCI Events & Entertainment. Dialog 444 played an integral part in the promotion and marketing for the event.
The concert began on schedule just after 8 pm and although some scattered showers threatened to spoil the outdoor event initially, things went ahead without any delays eventually.
The band played an array of hit singles from the 90s and early 2000s from a collection of albums that they released during the past two decades. The band took some time during the concert to remember the passing of fellow band member Stephen Gately who died in 2009 due to pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs) as a result of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. They even played an unreleased track by Gately which was backed by the rest of the band during their performance.
The most influential member of the band, Ronan Keating took time to reminisce on the glory days of the 90s when Pop music was at its peak and even mentioned other boy bands that were famous during that era like Backstreet Boys and East 17, without taking too much time to speak about themselves in particular!
What was really noticeable at the event was the amount of young people who had attended the concert. One would imagine with a band like Boyzone, most of the audience would comprise people in their 30s and above, but quite surprisingly, this was not the case; the band’s influence on the younger generation in particular was quite interesting to see.
Although the stage lighting and arrangement was of the highest standard, with two massive LED screens on either side to project the on-stage events to the crowd at the back, there was very little lighting at the back and you could barely get a glimpse of what was happening on stage from any of the seating areas apart from the Platinum tickets on sale, which enabled the audience to be right up near the stage and experience the show up close and personal.
When we spoke to many of the fans who attended the event, a lot of them were in agreement that the main reason they liked Boyzone was because a lot of their songs were based on true emotional experiences and people found it easy to relate to a lot of what was being said in the songs.
This was apart from the fact that they all had great voices and a lot of their melodies transcended those barriers of musical compatibility across different age groups with a mix of Folk, Country and Pop elements that are, more often than not, easy on the ears.
Suffice to say that after managing to survive in an industry that’s been constantly evolving and with changes in musical tastes and production requirements taking place so quickly, it’s remarkable that a band that formed in the 90s, that’s basically stuck to one particular style through most of their musical career, has managed to still remain relevant today.
After giving a warm thanks to the audience and wishing everyone the best of luck in the future, the band played a single from the last album (which is yet to be released) titled, ‘Thank You & Goodnight’ and was given a charged send-off by everyone in the audience who seemed to be pleasantly surprised and content at an evening spent reliving 90’s pop music!
Review by Nihan Riza
Pics by Saman Abeysiriwardena
See more pics here