Review: Boyzone at the Ageas Bowl

Enter the Theatre of Fear for a triumphant homecoming

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IT WAS the last date of their tour and possibly the last time that we’ll ever see them together.

As Boyzone announced the sad news on stage that they’ll be taking a break after this gig.

Despite that tinge of sadness, there was something special about Boyzone’s gig at the Ageas Bowl.

Yes, it did surprise a few people, Boyzone included, by being held so early, but when your gig start time relies on the end of a cricket match, it’s bound to catch a few people out.

The cricket’s early finish meant that Boyzone were on stage by 5pm in glorious sunshine.

The crowd assembled on the pitch and from the screams it was clear to see that the boys (or should that be men now) still had an army of dedicated fans.

Albeit that these fans, as had the band, had aged 22 years.

The set saw a touching tribute to band member Stephen Gateley, who died in 2009, with the band saying ‘when we are together it’s like he’s here with us.’

The crowd was treated to Boyzone’s biggest numbers, such as Words, Everyday I love You and When The Going Gets Tough, with a motown medley in the middle.

When Ronan Keating and Keith Duffy came down from the stage and ran along the front of the crowd barriers, the somewhat civilised crowd transformed into frenzied teenage groupies, something last seen at Smash Hits in the 90s.

But the boys saved the best for last by finishing with a crowd-pleasing double-whammy of Love Me For A Reason followed by Life Is A Rollercoaster.

And their last number really summed up the journey this band have been on over the past 22 years - one hell of a rollercoaster.