Brilliant! I like Snow Patrol a lot. I discovered them through the breakthrough single Run some years back bought the album Final Straw which I thought was pretty good. Then their follow up to that Eyes Open was frankly one of my favourite albums of a couple of years ago – I think it won album of the year in my review then … sadly lost on my old blog now.
So this was the “Take Back the Cities” tour which showcased material from their latest album A Hundred Millions Suns. The O2 I’ve said before has become a favoured venue of mine, I like it a lot. It is modern, clean, very accessible for me coming from Kent, reasonable catering although again an initial blank stare back as I asked for a coffee at the bar. I know I’m odd pal but I’m a recovering alcoholic and I drink coffee. There is a machine behind you all you need to do is find an appropriate vessel (not a glass that will crack with the temperature – oh dear… try again!!!) and press a single button, it’ll gurgle and spit then dump a mixture of two liquids both of which were water a few seconds ago until the machine put in the dry instant coffee and the dry instant milk… but as it sort of froths it up I expect to have to pay more than a pint of beer for it… sorry – I digress.
Snow Patrol are a band who play the music if you get my meaning there is very little in terms of staging, no theatrics, synchronised dancing or matching outfits, if it wasn’t for the size of the stage they wouldn’t look too out of place performing in the Dog and Duck in the High Street on a Friday night. The light show was very good though. We were “in the Gods” but close to the stage on the right hand side, good seats even if Mrs F was a little “this is bloody high up” for a few seconds when we initially took our seats. If you are afraid of heights don’t book on level 4 at the O2.
They played a good selection off the aforementioned three albums not dredging up anything from their two early albums. Highlights included the big hits Chasing Cars and Run. Run was especially well performed. Gary Lightbody with his Tele Deluxe slung on his neck and he performed the first two verses and chorus solo and quietly with a lot of audience singing along. The band then all came in towards the end to a massive finale. An excellent arrangement suitably different from the single and album to stand out and very memorable.
The other highlight was the encore which started with a large sheet at the very front of the stage onto this was projected a quick story about the genesis of the final epic track from Hundred Million Suns, The Lightening Strike. This is a 16 minute magnum opus which is three tracks in one and the story explained that they feel they have to be kept together as one piece. So queue the intro… we were then presented with a very cosmic lightshow on the screen whilst the band played behind. Very Pink Floyd – and that is a relevant reference point I feel as that piece has a very Floyd feel to it to my ears. As the second movement started the screen came down and the band played on as normal again not overly flashy or over staged but very effectively done.
Excellent gig – if you like any of Snow Patrols stuff I’d highly recommend seeing them I was pretty impressed. Oh yes and Nathan Connolly uses a black Les Paul Custom on many tracks… just like the one yours truly owns. Clearly Nathan is a man of excellent taste :-)