Twenty-two years is a long time. Just ask the Filipino fans of Irish band The Corrs. So when it was announced in March that the Corr siblings would finally come back to Manila after 22 years, the anticipation began. Fast-forward to October, and The Corrs’ fans flocked to the Araneta Coliseum on Oct. 21 and 22, ready to sing their hearts out and give all the love in the world to the band that’s been a constant in their lives for decades.
Pop-rock sister band Germein opened the night, and the Australian group played their songs “Talking,” “Good for a Girl,” and “Suitcase,” their recent single.
I had goosebumps when Caroline then appeared on stage and played the drums that introduced their opening song, “Only When I Sleep.” The curtains fell and Andrea danced her way to the mic before she sang, and the crowd was immediately under her spell. The Corrs then performed “Give Me a Reason” and “Summer Sunshine.”
“Mabuhay, Manila! Magandang gabi. Masaya kaming makabalik dito,” Andrea greeted the crowd during the first show that weekend. She also said the band really wanted to come back and that their 2001 concert, which was also held in Araneta, was unforgettable.
“There’s a lot of bad times in the world these days, but this is not one of them. Let’s have an amazing night tonight and share the love. Thank you! Salamat!”
The Corrs played instrumental “Lough Erin Shore,” and it was exhilarating seeing each sibling’s talent on display. It then transitioned into “Forgiven, Not Forgotten.” Another infectious song included in the set is “What Can I Do,” and the crowd sang a couple of lines during the chorus. After hearing the fans sing, Andrea said, “You’re amazing!”
They also covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies,” and Andrea introduced it as a tribute to Christine McVie, the late keyboardist and co-vocalist of the iconic rock band. The Corrs performed “Dreams” as well, another Fleetwood Mac original.
A couple of songs that they also covered that night were The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘”Little Wing” and Jimmy McCarthy’s “No Frontiers,” with Sharon and Caroline as lead vocals.
The Corrs performed their other hits, such as “Don’t Say You Love Me,” “Radio,” and “Queen of Hollywood.” They also paid homage to their roots as the band played traditional instrumental songs: “Joy of Life / Trout in the Bath” and “Haste to the Wedding.”
One of the highlights of the set for me was “Ellis Island,” which Andrea said is very relevant today. Their harmonies gave me goosebumps. You get the feeling that this is a song that’s close to their hearts especially because the band is also known for their philanthropy.
“So Young” and “I Never Loved You Anyway” wrapped The Corrs’ set, with the Manila choir providing additional vocals, and the band was further fueled by the crowd participation.
The fans wanted more and shouted for an encore, and the coliseum shook as everyone stomped their feet.
The Corrs took the stage again, and before introducing the band, Andrea said she was a bit overwhelmed, clearly emotionally moved by their fans.
“Say it’s true; there’s nothing like me and you.” That line is simply nostalgic and unearthed memories that we associate with “Runaway.” Andrea was emotional as she let the crowd sing the chorus. She removed her in-ears and just listened to the crowd.
Cheers also erupted when The Corrs started performing “Breathless,” and Irish traditional folk tune “Toss the Feathers” was the last song of the band’s encore.
The Corrs played two sold out shows that weekend and performed hit after hit for thousands of their Filipino fans. We heard the sound, harmonies, lyrics, and Andrea’s distinct voice that we’ve all listened to countless times, and watching The Corrs perform from their first song to their last was such a thrill. After the confetti has fallen and the show has wrapped, our memories of The Corrs’ undeniable talent and grace coupled with their timeless hits can still leave us breathless.
The Corrs Live in Manila is made possible by PULP Live World.
Words by Ava Sumortin
Photos by Kevin Pableo
Only When I Sleep
Give Me a Reason
Erin Shore / Forgiven, Not Forgotten
What Can I Do
Little Lies (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Don’t Say You Love Me
Little Wing (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
No Frontiers (Jimmy MacCarthy cover) (Sharon and Caroline Corr on lead vocals)
Joy of Life / Trout in the Bath
Haste to the Wedding
Queen of Hollywood
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
I Never Loved You Anyway
Toss the Feathers