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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

IN PHOTOS: The Script breaks free on ‘Freedom Child’ tour

The Script
The Script’s lead singer Danny O’Donoghue rocks the MOA Arena. Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

To say that The Script likes playing the Philippines is an understatement.

For the trio’s fourth visit to Manila, once again the Mall of Asia Arena was packed with loyal fans, many of whom followed them since their first self-titled album—this is more than just luck of the Irish!

The Script, comprised of vocalist Danny O’Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan, and drummer Glen Power is known for their heartfelt alternative pop/rock songs, catchy lyrics, and O’Donoghue’s swoon-worthy vocals.

For their ‘Freedom Child’ concert, the group played on its strength of being uncomplicated: LED screens towered above the band playing visuals that matched the song—no moving stages, no surprise entrances from the ceiling, no highly choreographed numbers.

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

But the concert did not lack in audience impact, the two-hour set serving as a reminder that a human connection can still trump hi-tech, extravagant productions.

Stronger than ever

In an exclusive interview with members of the press, including INQUIRER.net and INQPOP!, O’Donoghue says that the group’s hiatus gave them perspective on their job and reminded them of their “why.”

“We love playing music, we love writing music, and I think we have that passion and love stronger now than it’s ever been.”

If the show was any indication, it’s clear the group is in it for the love of music, with each member sustaining powerful performances through the night.

As the lights dimmed and the crowd began to scream, the stage pulsed with the anthem-like “Superheroes” from the 2014 No Sound Without Silence album. Bright purple lights began to illuminate the stage as O’Donoghue bounded from one end of the stage to another—a nightmare for photographers trying to get the perfect shot, but a feast for fans who wanted to reach their idol.

The Script
Vocalist Danny O’Donoghue. Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

Another upbeat number followed, this time “Rock the World”. The song, like others in their Freedom Child album, has a mix of EDM and pop. With a live band, the songs sounded truer to The Script’s original sound and felt even more electrifying.

The Script
Guitarist Mark Sheehan. Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

The Script
Drummer Glen Powers. Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

A lesser-known song “Paint the Town Green” harked back to the group’s Irish roots, giving the audience a taste of their motherland’s distinct sound. The crowd was also surprised with green confetti drizzling down early on in the show.

‘Freedom Child’ tracks were interspersed with hit singles from previous albums, including “Wonders”, “Arms Open” and “No Man Is an Island”.

The Script Freedom Child Live in Manila
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

However, fans seemed to not mind at all that most of the numbers were old favorites like “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “If You Could See Me Now.”

True entertainers

During the afternoon press interview, the band mentioned a more “interactive” show was in store for Filipino fans. Little did anyone know how literal the statement was.

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

Halfway through the show, bamboo bicycles rolled onstage, with Sheehan and O’Donoghue giving them a spin. The vocalist said they were “for a great cause” and had the audience included in a picture with the band and the bikes.

Up on the patron area, the crowd began to stir as crew members set up a keyboard along the aisle. As people gathered closer to the keyboard’s spot, O’Donoghue left the stage in the middle of “For the First Time” and moved through throngs of fans reaching out to him. Even better was that Sheehan and Power joined him in the stands, both on guitar.

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

Resounding cheers filled the venue when O’Donoghue asked if they could play a couple of songs. In the intimate set-up, they serenaded the crowd with raw and romantic versions of “If You Ever Come Back” and “Never Seen Anything Quite Like You.”

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

When it was time for them to return to their original spots on stage, a spotlight shone on O’Donoghue the arena’s upper box sections. There, he sang while inching through extended arms that yearned for a touch or a selfie.

Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

Complete once again in front, the band cooled down to the relaxing “Rain” after the adrenaline-filled moments.

The Script
The band relaxes with “Rain”. Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

In between songs, O’Donoghue declared to the Manila audience, “We’re gonna be coming back again and again and again and again.”

No good in goodbye

Then the arena turned dark, signaling the end of the concert. Stubborn fans stood their ground, yelling for an encore from the trio.

Soon, heavy electric guitar strums filled the air and spotlights danced in a frenzy for “No Good in Goodbye.”

Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

Two more surprise performances came through: the heart-wrenching “Breakeven” and the invigorating “Hall of Fame.”

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

For the final song, fans were asked to shine their smartphones’ flashlights for a performance “powered by the people,” as per O’Donoghue.

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net
The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

White confetti then burst into the air and the lead singer came dashing through with a Philippine flag on his back.

The Script
Photo taken by Niña V. Guno/INQUIRER.net

“We f*ckin’ love the music and we’ll see you soon,” he proclaimed.

After over a decade together, The Script’s concerts remain a must-watch for their positive energy and relentless performance level. With a following that keeps growing, their sincerity continues to shine through as they share a message of humanity across cultures.

As O’Donoghue noted hours before the concert, “Although we’re very different cultures, the Irish and Filipino, we have a lot of similarities—and inside our heart, passion, love, lyrics, music, the healing of it too.”


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