herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Our last farewell will be big, the fans will love it and everyone will cry

TO BE honest, this week has actually been very relaxed and chilled out for me, which isn't what I was expecting at all.

We played in Glasgow last weekend and again on Tuesday night and that went great, but to be honest, London has so far been the most emotional for us.

I suppose it's because we have such a big fan base over there and spent so much time there over the past 14 years that we've been together.

I looked out at the audience at one point and about the first five rows of fans were in tears. That was the first night that we really saw the emotions kicking in and it was pretty hard to watch, seeing them all so upset.

I looked over and saw [wife] Jodi in floods of tears and I was just looking forward to giving her a big hug at the end of it.

We really want to make this farewell tour a really happy memory for the fans, give them a great night out and it's very important to us that they leave our show on a high.

That was also the most important thing for us as a band in general and that's the way we look at ourselves -- as going out on a high.

We could have broken up in a hotel room having fought over something daft and we didn't.



reunion

It's a tough business; it's human nature for things to fade away and not remain as big as they once were and I'm used to watching that happen to a lot of bands. But we decided 'let's not do that, we'll go out our own way' and we have managed to hold ourselves together and bring it to this level so after 14 years. That's quite something.

And we always said from the start that this is our final concert and we're not going to do that whole reunion thing. The four of us will definitely stand together on a stage again if it was for some special event like a Westlife thing, but it won't be the same way that we're together now.

There was some speculation about Brian McFadden coming back to Dublin for the last two concerts, but if he is, he hasn't told us. It's all news to us, as he hasn't contacted anyone in the band about it.

On Wednesday, I flew back into Dublin and drove up to Belfast for the concert in the Odyssey and it was kind of starting to hit home to me. I was like 'Oh God, we're here for that final tour'.

We've also had loads of interviews and work commitments and we gave our last studio interview to Michael Cahill on 2fm and got a brilliant reaction.

Two days before that, myself and Mark were co-hosting the Xtra Factor, which was great fun. We bumped into Louis over there and he was promising that he wasn't going to get emotional but we were like 'You did at the last Croke Park tour -- you definitely will this weekend'.

Once it's all over, I think I'm just going to chill out and relax with Jodi and Koa. I'm not going to push myself at all. I'm just going to do a bit of surfing, go on a nice holiday and just sit back and see what happens in terms of new projects. I'm not running out the door looking for things and just see whatever comes my way.

In terms of the Voice of Ireland, I can't say yes or no either way as to whether I'll be back again. There were parts of it I loved doing and others that I didn't enjoy so much, so I've got to wait and see as I don't know what my mindset is going to be.

People have been asking what fans can expect from Croke Park and I nearly think that tonight's gig will be better.

I think we'll be a lot more relaxed than on Saturday night. I've been trying not to think about it too much as it would mess you up. I'm just going to blank it out and get on with it.

The whole set list is fantastic, it's all just massive hits from the start to the finish and I can confirm that we will be going out into the audience, with a separate stage set up in the middle of the stadium.

We were looking at doing all kinds of things, like using cherry pickers or cranes so we could go over the audience, but this one extra stage worked best and we think the fans will love it.

The whole night is going to be a massive rollercoaster of emotions and what will make it extra special is standing on a stage in front of 85,000 people going through the same thing... that this is our last ever Croke Park gig.

I know that it's going to be an amazing weekend for us, one that we'll probably remember for the rest of our lives.

Westlife will perform at Croke Park today and tomorrow

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