Westlife star Shane Filan proves he is more than just a boy band singer [Review]

By Melanie Leung
By Melanie Leung |

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Shane Filan really engaged with the audience at his first solo Hong Kong concert at Asia World-Expo.

For someone who's been in the spotlight for 16 years, former Westlife lead singer Shane Filan was having so much fun on Monday at Asia World-Expo, you would have thought it was his first time on stage.

"It's my first solo tour, so it's a little strange," he told the screaming crowd, before pulling out his phone to take a selfie with the audience.

Filan introduced every song he sang, joked with the audience, and it was great to see the band playing such a big part in the show. They sat with Filan at the front of the stage, performing acoustic versions of Westlife's Swear it Again and Amazed, as well as two of Filan's original songs, Baby Let's Dance and Once. Filan's refined and effortless singing didn't fail to impress, although the audience's responses to Westlife's well-known hits were far louder than to the original number.

One of the most anticipated songs was Flying Without Wings, the 1999 song which shot Westlife to fame. The lyrics resonated particularly well with the local audience, whose minds are occupied with the city's protests for democracy: "So, impossible as it may seem / You've got to fight for every dream".

Filan sang beautifully, although it would have been nicer if he had sung more of it. For one third of the song, he pointed the microphone at the crowd, and teased an audience member for not knowing the words.

The energy changed completely after that as Filan stripped off his jacket, donned sunglasses, and the band struck up the famous intro to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, turning up the party mood. Filan's booty-shaking showed that he's no boy band singer anymore.

All the girls in the room were probably jealous when Filan invited an audience member on stage and sang Mandy to her. He accidentally knocked her hat off, but made up for it by putting it on his own head, and making her take a selfie with him.

Filan's Hong Kong fan club surprised him by producing signs saying "About you" when he sang, well, About You. He repaid them by singing another all-time favourite, You Raise Me Up.

Filan ended the concert with his solo album's leading single, Everything to Me, and Knee Deep in My Heart, leaving the audience hungry for more. Well, the wait won't be long - Filan's new album is due out next year, and he promises to be back soon.