From stools to Sexyback: 9 stand-out Westlife performances

Rounding up Westlife's greatest mainstage moments

Over 20 years since they burst onto the scene, Irish boyband Westlife have gifted us with some of the most memorable chart-toppers of the last two decades. Now, as they prepare to head back on tour to promote their twelfth studio album, we’re taking a look back at some of the group’s most memorable moments on stage… stools and all.

Fool Again (2000)

With the release of Fool Again in 2000, Westlife solidified their place on the charts by landing their fifth UK No.1 single. Nicki Byrne thanked the fans for their support just one year after their debut single before the then-five-piece performed their latest No.1.

Little did they know then, less than two years into their career, that they would still be in the charts some 20 years later.

Westlife - Fool Again (Where Dreams Come True - Live In Dublin)

When You’re Looking Like That (2003)

One of Westlife’s first up-tempo originals was the 2001 song, When You’re Looking Like That. A welcome addition to their tour setlist, the song became the perfect opportunity to show off the group’s dance skills and have some more fun with costuming and staging.

While not one of their many chart-toppers, it did go on to be declared the band’s most streamed song ever in Ireland, thanks to its increased popularity over the years.

Any nightclub worth its salt will give this one a spin before the night is out.

Westlife - When You're Looking Like That (Live From M.E.N. Arena)

Pretty Woman (2005)

After the departure of Brian McFadden and the release of their Rat Pack tribute album, …Allow Us to Be Frank, in 2004, Westlife headed back on the road with The No1’s Tour and with it, a setlist full of old classics including this cover of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman.

From Kian Egan taking a lead on vocals to the showband style choreography, it’s the ultimate blast from the past.

Westlife - Pretty Woman (The Number Ones Tour '05)

You Raise Me Up (2006)

This performance in Wembley is Westlife as we all know and love them – sat on their signature stools, singing their hearts out to their adoring fans before that epic key-change.

Yes, it might be a cliché but it’s one Westlife have mastered and we cannot help but enjoy.

Westlife - You Raise Me Up (Live At Wembley '06)

Sexyback / Blame It On The Boogie (2008)

Westlife have always had a knack for unique takes on other people’s songs, even landing massive hits with Seasons In The Sun and Uptown Girl. However, anyone who’s made it to one of their shows might have been treated to some rarer live covers of other chart-topping classics.

In 2006, the group had Irish fans in Dublin’s Croke Park dancing with their mash-up of Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback and The Jackson 5’s Blame It On The Boogie. They also got pulses racing with some saucy dance moves to open the number… not a stool in sight.

Westlife - Sexyback / Blame It On The Boogie (Live At Croke Park Stadium)

What About Now (2012)

As Westlife took their Greatest Hits farewell tour to fans around the world in 2012, they brought with them a setlist filled with top ten hits including their 2009 cover of Daughtry’s What About Now.

The single was their first released after a brief hiatus in 2008 and signalled yet another turning point in Westlife’s discography as the group elevated their trademark ballad with some edgier elements.

Westlife - What About Now (Live from The O2)

Flying Without Wings (2012)

Despite Flying Without Wings being the group’s third single, the song is often seen as the ultimate throwback to the early days of the group. So in 2012, when Westlife were on their farewell tour ahead of what could of been an indefinite break, the group finished each and every show with the 1999 No.1 hit.

For the Irish group, playing in their home country’s national stadium, Croke Park, on the final night of their farewell tour was the ultimate high to go out on. Unsurprisingly, the performance left Westlife fans emotional and the group in tears as highlights of their over-ten years on the road played behind them.

We dare you to not feel something watching this clip!

Westlife - Flying Without Wings (The Farewell Tour) (Live at Croke Park, 2012)

Hello My Love (2021)

In 2019, Westlife delighted fans around the world with news that they would be reuniting and releasing new, original music. The first of those releases was the Ed Sheeran co-written, Hello My Love, which climbed to No.1 in the UK charts.

Performing the song on BBC Radio 2 Live in 2021, over 500 days since they last got together due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the group showed off their matured vocals and new sound to promote the release of their upcoming album, Wild Dreams.

Westlife - Hello My Love (Radio 2 Live 2021)

Starlight (2021)

Ahead of their return to touring in 2022 and with a brand new single entering the charts, Westlife took to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom floor to whet the appetites of fans eager to see the group on their reschedule tour dates in 2022.

The song is a message of optimism, says the group, who described their twelfth studio album as a “moment of reflection and about new beginnings, hope and looking to the future”.

And from the look on their faces in this clip, it’s a future they’re excited for!

Westlife perform Starlight in the Ballroom ✨ BBC Strictly 2021

Westlife have announced shows for summer and winter 2022, including shows at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on 23 July 2022, Wembley Stadium on 6 August 2022 and a string of UK arena dates in November and December.