Every generation tends to spawn its own set of boybands, and more often than not these faces end up becoming a reminder of days when things like pinning up posters on walls and getting starry-eyed over teen magazines were high on one’s list of priorities.
While the bands themselves at times may fade into semi-obscurity along with their ability to rouse constant screams and hysteria, their songs (to the amazement and disdain of music purists and ‘haters’ who brand them as manufactured and talentless) tend to endure.
The Boyzone concert at Dubai Tennis Stadium  on Thursday night served as a classic example of how great pop songs withstand the test of time – and still have the power to engage an audience comprising (surprisingly) all age groups.
Kicking off the humid, airless evening (which no one in the crowd seemed particularly bothered by) with Nothing Without You from the album Brother, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy (Mikey missed the show due to a family bereavement) were in top form right from the outset.
A deafening roar could be heard as they swung into the popular Picture of You, and one almost expected Rowan Atkinson to come up on stage and break out into his goofy ‘Mr. Bean’ antics.
Ronan was as mesmerising as always on the Bee Gees classic Words, which drew loud cheers from the crowd, who by now were fired up with enthusiasm and sang along happily.
What shone through almost instantly and could be felt throughout the concert was the camaraderie (not always a staple in other bands) amongst the three, who teased each other, cracked jokes and shared anecdotes in between performances, and also paid tribute to their tragic bandmate Stephen Gately, who passed away in 2009. “He was the light, and the pride, and he’s missed every day,” said an emotional Ronan.
The atmosphere was electric, and crowd participation maximum on Boyzone  classics like Baby Can I Hold You, Love Me For a Reason, and No Matter What. Some hardcore fans told City Times they flew down from Sri Lanka especially for the concert.
The boys also made sure their new album BZ20 grabbed some of the spotlight by performing tracks like Who We Are and Everything I Own. In a video that included Mikey, they thanked their fans for making the last two decades of Boyzone possible.
A random thought crossed my mind as the concert drew to a close – could it be just the rush of nostalgia that had made this evening so memorable? But as Ronan, Shane and Keith signed off with the peppy, inspirational Life is a Rollercoaster, I realised some things in life are just not meant to be analysed. Boyzone doubtless still possesses the magic it started out with 21 years ago , and one couldn’t help but get caught up in that on Thursday night.