Shane Filan Serenades Manila for the Fifth Time
September 2013 marks Shane Filan’s fifth time in Manila.
The first four visits were during his years as the lead vocalist of Westlife, the boy band that unquestionably took Manila by storm. At the height of Westlife’s fame in the early 2000s, the Irish lads had experienced a reception that was equivalent to mania every time. Fans would scream at their faces, cry at their mere presence and act insane to grab their attention.
His fifth and latest visit here, however, was very different from others. This time, for the first time ever, Shane Filan came alone. Although the mania has slightly toned down, he still managed to get as much love and devotion from his fans.
After the band’s decision to split was announced following their Gravity World Tour in 2011, Shane Filan had resolved to pursue a career as a solo artist. It was only in 2013 that he put his resolution to reality. During the last week of August, his four-track EP titled “Everything to Me” was released. Shortly after, he started promoting his music by launching worldwide tour.
Manila turned out to be his 2nd stop in his first ever world tour, the 1st one being India. He arrived here on the 26th, two days before his actual show. He had also appeared in local TV programs and held a public press conference in Megamall. Last Sunday evening, he even made a special appearance during The Voice of the Philippines’ finale wherein he performed with the hopeful contestants. How’s that for dedication?
Even now, he was very warmly received by the Filipino audience. His shows at Skydome and Podium, which happened a day apart from each other, drew in huge crowds of loyal fans who purchased his EP and lined up for hours to secure their premium seats to see him again.
Straight off his EP, he performed “Everytime”, “Once” and the title song “Everything to Me”. He added in “What About Now” which he said to be one of his favorite songs to perform when he was still a part of Westlife. To give his fans a more definite feel of his new album, he also sang “About You” which is stated to be his 2nd single.
During his show, he couldn’t hide his surprise and happiness. “That was amazing! That’s the first time to have my fans sing back my songs. This is a day I will never forget, so thank you! I really mean that,” he exclaimed and laughed like an excited boy after fans perfectly sang along to “Once”.
Overwhelmed, Shane was all smiles as he sang without faltering. If you’ve had the opportunity to see Westlife perform live, you’d know how amazing his voice is –a trait which holds true until now. His singing hasn’t gotten old. It still has the same depth and stability. Keeping a close connection with the audience, as much as possible, he reached out to them by touching their hands and looking right at them –gestures which undeniably drove the fans wild.
Appreciative to the end, he remarked at the show’s close, “Everybody looks so happy. All I see is smiles in everybody’s faces. I smile right back at you, Manila! Thank you very much!” He added that when he was thinking about going solo, he was worried about how people were going to react.” So at the beginning, he was a bit scared, a bit nervous. But after today, I feel okay. Thank you!”
As he had promised several times while he was here, he will be back in Manila next year to hold a full concert with a live band. If there’s anything that his visit had proven, it is the fact that he is strong-willed and dedicated. He’s fully set to embark on a solo career, and Manila is right there with him.
Special thanks to MCA MUSIC
by Sandra Mae Laureano