SSE Hydro, GlasgowWith half a million tickets sold, this 20th-anniversary tour is a spirited reboot for the Irish groups chart-topping balladry
After a six-year break, Westlife are hitting the comeback trail hard – 560,000 tickets were sold for this UK and Ireland tour – but in Glasgow it is the audience who are unexpectedly on their feet. Due to a truck full of staging equipment being delayed en route from Belfast, this sellout show has been hastily rejigged from all-seated to part-standing, enabling loyal fans to press up to the stage.
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Westlife fans fury as Glasgow gig-goers left standing after SSE Hydro seat delay
The remaining Lifers (founder member Brian McFadden left in 2004) appear utterly unaffected by this mild disruption to their 20th-anniversary tour. Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Mark Feehily emerge beaming from a blizzard of rainbow confetti to Hello My Love, a strident new song written for them by Ed Sheeran. All four look fighting fit in vaguely military uniforms personalised by Thunderbirds-style coloured sashes.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Eye-searing … Westlife. Photograph: Jennifer McCord If this mega-gig has been compromised by missing gear, it is almost impossible to tell (except, perhaps, for the lack of an intimate B-stage in the middle of the crowd). Backlit by a gigantic, eye-searing screen and occasionally obscured by geysers of flame, the garrulous quartet breeze confidently through nearly two hours of crooning, covers and coordinated costume changes. They revisit a curated selection of their 14 No 1 hits, sing happy birthday to a surprised Feehily and throw in an extended Queen medley.
The infamous stools are kept in reserve until the penultimate segment, when Filan messes up the crucial key change on smoochy anthem Unbreakable to Byrnes obvious glee and the fluttering Fool Again reveals itself as a fan favourite. The result is a spirited but overlong celebration wisely laced with self-deprecation. If the intention is to mimic Take That and reboot into a successful manband, it feels like a solid start.
Westlife fans have hit out at concert organisers after they were left standing without seats at the Irish boybands gig in Glasgow.
But fans who had paid extra for VIP front-row seats were forced to stand after a production error meant the seats did not arrive in time for the show.
Westlife fans who paid extra money for front row seats at a concert in Glasgow were forced to stand after their chairs did not arrive at the venue.
Disabled Westlife fans told to stand at Glasgow gig, or go home and get a refund
Event organisers have apologised for the problems faced and say those that were unable to stand or preferred not to will be offered a full refund.
One disappointed fan, who attended the gig told how they were left “jostling” with others for a better view despite paying extra for front row seats.
“I asked for a wheelchair for my disabled mother and was told she can either deal with it and stand or go home and come back to the Hydro tomorrow for a refund, so Ive got to drive all way back to Glasgow for a refund.”
She said: “We were only told of the change at 6:35pm by an email, at that time we were travelling to the venue.
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“The doors were meant to open at 6:30pm but when we got there it was still shut with massive queues of people waiting to get in. It took over 20 minutes to get through the doors.
“We had paid extra for seats fairly near the front, so we were very disappointed that it had become a free for all, with people constantly jostling past to try and get a better view.”
Another fan attended the concert with a cousin who is unable to stand for long periods of time due to a disability.
They had paid nearly £200 each for the tickets for that particular reason and were left upset when they were told they had to stand.
Organisers Live Nation have moved to reassure fans that there will be no repeat of the seating issues in future shows.
In a statement they said: “On Tuesday May 28 Westlifes Twenty Tour at Glasgows SSE Hydro suffered seating configuration adjustments due to the delay of production elements of the Twenty Tour arriving at the arena. This is a rare and isolated incident.
“The remainder of the Twenty Tour at Glasgows SSE Hydro and across the UK will not be subject to any further seating issues.