Poignant but uplifting evening from Boyzone

Boyzone – BZ20 Anniversary Tour, Brighton Centre, 
Tuesday, December 17

The show started with the screens behind the stage showing Boyzone from the beginning. The music started, six dancers appeared from under the stage and then Boyzone appeared at the top of a flight of stairs for their first song of the evening Nothing Without You.

The evening continued with Picture Of You; Ruby and Words, which was finished off by the welcoming crowd.

Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch now have twenty years under their belts but things have not always gone smoothly for them. The band split up in 2000 and made a comeback in 2008 and there was also the tragic death of their fifth member, Stephen Gately.

Even so there was a lot of material to choose from for this tour.

BZ20 is the current album and some of the tracks from this album, including their present single Love Will Save The Day, were performed along with other popular chart toppers. During When The Going Gets Tough there was a section where the guys joined their dancers in a very bassy routine.

Before Gave It All Away there was a tribute to Stephen who tragically died in 2009 and, while performing, his vocals were used and a picture was displayed on the screens. Sat at a table the guys all told a story about Stephen. Keith found this part very emotional and struggled to get through. This part ended with the four raising a glass of red wine and then the track Better was sung, again with Stephen’s vocals. The guys said that Stephen would always be alive when the four of them were together.

The new album has a Christmas song, The Hour Before Christmas, which Ronan said took 20 years to write.

During the breaks the crowd still had the guys on screen where the story of Boyzone’s future was shown.

The encore consisted of four tracks, Right Here Waiting; Love Me For A Reason and No Matter What in which the backing singer did the vocals that Stephen should have done. The evening finished with a track from the BZ20 album Who We Are and the guys introduced their band before finishing the song and disappearing into the floor of the stage, with gasps from the crowd.

The future is bright for Boyzone because they have signed a new record deal and say that they are planning to stick around for another 20 years!

The death of Stephen is still very raw with the guys and also the fans, there was not a dry eye in the Centre, but the mood was lifted by the end of the evening. Knowing that Boyzone are not going anywhere left everyone with a smile on their face.

By Michaela Shaw