Everyone has that one band that they have to see perform live at least once in their lifetime. For me, that band was Snow Patrol, and I had the opportunity to watch them live on Monday thanks to LAMC!
To be honest, the combination of the heat and my impatience had left me in quite a bad mood early in the evening, even though I had already anticipated that the concert wouldn’t start on time. However, once Gary Lightbody stepped foot on stage and opened with an upbeat “Hands Open” after a short instrumental of “Berlin“, I felt my spirits being lifted almost immediately and all was forgiven. Like they say; good things come to those who wait.
Gary’s energetic prancing across the stage and his infectious personality made it impossible for his energy not to transcend to the audience. The entire venue was overwhelmed with a burst of liveliness that replaced the initially dreary crowd, and in moments everyone was jumping and singing along to the band’s second number, “Take Back the City”. The charismatic front man of the Irish band worked the crowd smoothly; commanding the crowd to sing along and put their hands in the air. And without much effort, he was able to bring us, conservative Singaporeans, out of our shells and on our feet. There was no doubt that Lightbody remains a formidable front man, who cheerleads without ever being obnoxious and with a demeanour that is thoroughly engaging.
During one of their numbers, “In the End”, Gary came into the audience to interact with the crowd. Everyone wasted no time to whip out their phones and cameras to get a shot of Gary, after which he grabbed one of their phones and sang into it for a good 2 minutes as the crowd near the stage went hysterical. Kudos to Gary and his impressive showmanship because it takes immense courage to approach a screaming pit of fans while in the midst of a song. What I also found impressive was the crowd’s ability to restrain themselves and not grab the singer (because I probably would have…).
The absolute best a performer can do is to make everyone feel as if they are sharing a communal, trusting moment and that there is no chasm between the artist and the audience. Lightbody succeeded on that count over and over, and it was amazing how Gary was able to bring such raw passion and vulnerability to songs he have been singing for years.
The band played a cohesive set that included all their favourites such as “Called Out in the Dark”, “Open Your Eyes” and “Run”. I was slightly disappointed that they left out Signal Fire, however they more than made up for it with “Chasing Cars”; the emotionally ballad that disputably stole the show. I have probably heard this song being played 283719287 times on the radio, but none felt as special as when I heard it live for the first time. When the band played the first few chords of the song, the entire crowd fell silent and the atmosphere was chilling. Gary performed the song with such vulnerability that even members of the audience standing furthest away from the stage could feel the melancholy with every word being sung. Soon after, the entire crowd followed suit and sang along in unison, and this made the song even more magical.
Even thought it was an outdoor venue, his voice was flawless, clear and resonant, and he carried out the ballads effortlessly and with such intimacy. And the quality of the music by the band was studio perfect. Even the stage effects and the synchronised psychedelic lights were nothing less than mesmerising and complimented the upbeat numbers such as Fallen Empires by putting the crowd in a trance like state.
Another crowd pleaser was “You’re all I have”. I felt a euphoria that overwhelmed me in the middle of the chorus when the instrumentals and lights came together harmoniously, and carried through Gary’s voice energetically yet delicately. After You’re All I Have ended, Snow Patrol left the stage, but not for long.
They return after loud chanting from the crowd who were hungry for more songs, and they ended the show with “Lifening” and “Just Say Yes”. Lifening was another emotional number that told of his goals, dreams and ambitions. After sharing about his father and how he had inspired him to write that song, Gary proceeded to give a raw and heartfelt delivery, accompanied only on guitar and keys, which turned it into something of a humble prayer.
All in all, the concert was one of my favourites to date and left me leaving the stage feeling dreary of how amazing the whole experience was. The crowd was lively, the music was inspiring, Gary was charming, and the whole concert came together exactly the way it should have.
Image credits: Harris Sim