Girls Aloud Begin Emotional Reunion Tour in Ireland

The first Girls Aloud concert in eleven years took place last Friday, May 17th, in Dublin, kickstarting a sentimental and surreal run that you’ll need to see to believe. With a 20-song setlist that focused heavily on their late friend and band member, Sarah Harding, the tears were flowing and the pop hits charismatic as the girl group lit up the stage.

The night began with the first of three acts, consisting of seven songs including “Untouchable,” “The Show,” “Something New,” and “Can’t Speak French.” Remember, Girls Aloud had been on hiatus since 2013, and knew they had to bring their biggest hits to the stage. Members Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh sang and danced in unison as an awestruck crowd looked on. And it was only the beginning of a breathtaking evening.

It was during act two that the emotions truly began ramping up, with the group speaking out about the heartbreaking loss of Harding. The singer, who died of breast cancer in 2021 at age 39, had been with Girls Aloud for nearly two decades, and more than deserved a proper tribute. After they worked through classics like “Girl Overboard,” “Graffiti My Soul,” and “Long Hot Summer,” it was time for an homage that had the entire crowd shamelessly crying.

“This next one we're going to do really is a duet,” said Roberts. “We were looking through things to do and this song we're going to do, it's Sarah singing the whole song. It'll be Sarah and it'll be us and it'll be you. Let's all do this together.” Without further ado, it launched into a pre-recorded cover of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You,” with Harding on vocals and her bandmates singing backup.

From the sea of cell phone lighters to the images of Sarah Harding projected on the big screen, emotions ran high as the entirety of 3Arena paid their respects. It was a beautiful and bittersweet moment for all involved, as they soaked in her incredible talent yet wished that Harding could be present to perform with their sisters once again. Even as the song came to a close, Girls Aloud continued to include Easter eggs and subtle tributes to Sarah throughout the night, and it was nothing short of spectacular.

After wrapping up act three of the Girls Aloud concert, which contained original songs like “On the Metro” and “Call the Shots,” plus a Pointer Sisters cover, it was time to say goodbye. Girls Aloud gave a proper send-off with an encore performance of “The Promise.” And somehow, it seemed representative of their oath to keep owning the stage for years to come, not only in Sarah’s honor, but also to commemorate their incredible careers.

Girls Aloud is known as one of the UK’s biggest girl groups of all time — with millions of albums sold, five Brit Awards, and a reputation as being on the cutting edge of pop music. All that and more is celebrated at a Girls Aloud concert, and you can relive it over and over again by checking out the Dublin setlist.

Girls Aloud setlist

Girls Aloud arena tour continues tonight in Belfast and runs through June 30th. Get dates and details here.

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Last updated: 15 Jun 2024, 07:20 Etc/UTC