Five years ago, I watched The Script live for the first time. Back then, my friend convinced me to attend their concert even if I only knew “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”. Since I didn’t want to waste money, I listened to their entire catalog to get myself ready for the big day. Safe to say, I did not regret coming to the show and I’ve become a fan since.
Fast forward to today. I had no one joining me. But I bought a ticket and decided to see the band on my own. I’m still in love with their earlier material (The Script, Science & Faith, and to an extent, #3). But the two latest releases (No Sound Without Silence and Freedom Child) have been underwhelming. However, in the concert department, the band has stepped up and can compete with the best of today’s stage performers.
What struck me the most was how integral satisfying their entire fan base has become to their show. It began with a simple gesture of Danny getting down from the stage, joining the crowd and finishing “Paint the Town Green” from the audience. In the middle of the show, the entire group performed two songs from the center of the lower box. They reminisced of a time they were not famous and saw concerts from the same view. If that wasn’t enough, Danny had to walk around the entire left side of the lower box to perform “The Energy Never Dies”.
The Script is a gift from heaven to their fans and a walking nightmare to their security detail. I saw how difficult it was for a dozen men to band together, creating a human barricade and making sure no one got hurt in the process. Given how real their struggle was, I hope they got properly compensated for a job that’s often underappreciated. For them, it had to be one of those days where you have to dig deep and find your motivation.
The Script is five albums deep in their career and there was no way they can pack two hours with their entire catalog. Classics were bound to be left out and disappointment was sure to strike. To be fair, they did acknowledge this limitation and gave us some of it with “If You Ever Come Back”, “Nothing” and “For the First Time”. I would’ve wanted them to perform “Talk You Down”, “Six Degrees of Separation”, “Before the Worst” and “Science & Faith”. But I can’t always get what I want.
What’s the true test of talented entertainers? It’s making me enjoy some of their music that I’ve had lukewarm reception to – “Rock the World”, “No Man is an Island” and “Never Seen Anything (Quite Like You)”. These three are now shaping up to be mainstays on my playlist. These are tracks I’ve been skipping for the most part.
They also have techniques up their sleeves to ensure the crowd was continuously engaged. Gone are the days they used a phone from the audience and sang “Nothing” to a lover you’d end up drunk calling. Now, they ask you to put your arms around the person to your left and to your right and make you bounce in both directions like fools. I’m uptight and I was alone. But even I did it. Even God couldn’t make me hold hands during mass.
Just like most headliners, they asked separate sides of the crowd to compete for who can sing louder. Now, this is a silly exercise that never gets old. But it’s fun to do until today. And of course, they asked the crowd to raise their phones with the flashlight on. It’s generic as hell but effective as any gimmick could be.
I might be in the minority but my favorite parts of the show were its solemn moments. Whether it was the stripped down version of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”, or the love they expressed for all of humanity in “Arms Open” – both hit home and reminded me of why I fell in love with their music in the first place. “If You Could See Me Now” will always have a special spot in their hearts and mine. I’m glad they continue to include the song in their setlist.
While fans are divided over the direction of their new material, there is no doubt in my mind that their growth as performers has been exponential. No matter how their next output goes, I’m sure I’d pay to watch them live again.
Freedom Child Link: