The Script rolls back years in Manila return with greatest hits

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
The Script rolls back years in Manila return with greatest hits
The Script performing at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sept. 23, 2022
Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Irish band The Script were in Manila for the fifth time, but in performing their greatest hits it was like everyone — as one of their songs go — "got the feeling that we're meeting for the first time."

Irish-Filipino singer ANDREAH was the opening act at the concert held at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, performing several original songs before The Script came on to begin with decade-old hits like "Superheroes" and "We Cry."

The band consisting of vocalist Danny O'Donoghue on rhythm guitar and the occasional keyboard), lead guitarist Mark Sheehan, and drummer Glen Power (the latter two also providing backing vocals) connected extremely well with the crowd despite having not visited for some time.

In performing "The Man Who Can't Be Moved," O'Donoghue started off singing alongside the crowd with barely any music; and even when it kicked in, the audience were still singing their hearts out.

By the end of the song, O'Donoghue and his bandmates were staring in awe at the people inside the MOA Arena, even clapping and subtly bowing.

"We've just been to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, but this is the loudest crowd we've had," O'Donoghue said. "And the fact you brought your own lights is just incredible!"

The Script then continued with their 2008 song "Before The Worst" followed by their latest single "Dare You To Doubt Me" from their album of the same.

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O'Donoghue and company stepped it up a notch by going down to the middle-section of the crowd — just as they did for their last visit — to perform an acoustic version of "If You Could See Me Now" which the lead singer dedicated to his late parents.

While still among the crowd, O'Donoghue dared an audience member to call their ex and give him the phone; one individual volunteered but their ex initially dropped the call (much to the amusement of the crowd) though they did answer the second time and had a small talk with the singer.

The bit served as a set-up for one of the band's most popular songs "Nothing" which again had the audience in unison. While setting back onstage O'Donoghue gave an impassioned speech about making each moment count before they performed "Something Unreal."

The concert appeared to have ended after "For The First Time" was sung, but the crowd kept repeating the song's final lines "Oh, these times are hard. Yeah, they're making us crazy, don't give up on me, baby" well after the lights dimmed.

In response O'Donoghue and Sheehan did riffs on their guitars to signal the lights back on, and they performed "No Good in Goodbye" as if they were just silhouettes followed by what is arguably their most well-known song "Breakeven."

"We may be different peple, but tonight we are one," O'Donoghue said as he asked everyone in the audience to raise their lights. "You've been the stars all night... it's rare that a band and the audience become one... but each of these lights are connected [because of this journey]."

The band capped off the concert with "Hall of Fame," which O'Donoghue dedicated to all Filipinos and in the band's exit roused the crowd to repeat once more the closing lines of "For The First Time."

"Oh, these times are hard. Yeah, they're making us crazy, don't give up on me, baby," sang everyone, feeling blessed to have seen The Script once more and hoped to do so again soon.

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