Saturday, October 4, 2014

You & Me: Shane Filan Comes Back to Manila

Words by Ava Sharra Sumortin
Photos by Paul Bendiola

Shane Filan visited Manila last June and invited fans to his solo concert. Last October 1, he held his show at the World Trade Center Manila. Manila is the last stop of the Asian leg of his You & Me Tour. True to his word, Shane’s first major solo concert included a diverse set list that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. It included songs from his debut album (“You and Me”), as well as Westlife favorites and old and contemporary hits.

The show started with Klarisse de Guzman taking the stage. Shane first heard Klarisse sing when he performed in the finale of The Voice of the Philippines Season 1. Now, Klarisse was the front act for Shane’s concert.

Then, everyone was on their feet as Shane and his band started the set with an upbeat song, “When I Met You.” The crowd wasted no time in running to get closer to the stage. Shane followed it up with Westlife hits (and also among this writer’s favorite Westlife songs): “Uptown Girl,” “What Makes a Man,” and “My Love.” Shane also shared that he told the members of his band beforehand to prepare for the Philippines because we were going to be an awesome crowd. “Baby Let’s Dance” was next, and at this point, the crowd has been singing along with Shane since the start of the show. I am glad that the crowd did not let Shane down.

The venue then had a laidback vibe when Shane and the band took things a little slow. Shane sang “Once,” a song which reminded the audience to give more importance to things that really matter. He then sang the song that introduced Westlife to the world 15 years ago, “Swear It Again.” Yes, you read that right. Fifteen. When I realized that, it was a serious throwback moment for me. Shane also sang “Amazed,” which he said was his and his wife’s favorite song. Klarisse came back on stage to share a duet with Shane. They both sang “Flying Without Wings.”

Throughout the show, Shane gave time to the audience. He consistently replied to shouts of “I love you,” responded to fans’ requests, accepted gifts, and posed for pictures. Before he sang “Mandy,” he chose one fan with a banner to come up on stage. Apparently, it was the fan’s birthday, and she asked for a hug. She got more than what she hoped for. She got her hug (hugs!), and she got to sing “Mandy” with Shane. He asked her if she brought her phone with her, and they both posed for a handful of selfies. I could say that the whole experience would probably be the most unforgettable birthday present for the fan. Shane also accepted a fan club’s gift. He opened it on stage, and it was a trophy. He said that it would be displayed back home. Shane also sang a few lines from “Beautiful in White” because some fans requested it.

One of the memorable songs that were covered by Westlife is “You Raise Me Up.” Shane shared that he likes performing this song because he feels that every performance is like the first time for him. For his encore, Shane performed “Everything to Me” and “Knee Deep in My Heart.”

It is palpable that Shane is already comfortable with the Filipino audience. He knows what makes the audience go crazy. He already understands the Filipino concertgoers: Filipinos love an artist who is passionate on stage, an entertaining setlist, and an artist who has a connection with the audience. Shane has all those factors and more — and that is why the Philippines loves Shane Filan.

Shane Filan You An Me Tour is presented by Midas Promotions Philippines.


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