Backslash Magazine: Snow Patrol Concert Review



It’s been a long road for Snow Patrol to get where they are today. The Irish band’s name was changed several times, members came andwent, and record labels were impermanent,  but judging by the screaming crowd at Jannus Landing on March 31st, you would think they had been a staple of American music for decades.

Brit Ed Sheeran, a charismatic ginger, opened for the band. At 21, his performance was strong and confident, and at the end of his 30 minute set, fans flocked to meet him at the side of the stage. His fanbase covers all ages, a clear indicator of the universal appeal that moved Snow Patrol onto the world sage (though Grey’s Anatomy didn’t hurt).

When Snow Patrol takes the stage, it’s hard to remember that they aren’t in a large arena. Though they play to massive crowds in the UK and Europe, they usually land in small venues in America. The St. Petersburg’s enthusiasm more than makes up for the small space.

The band’s frontman Gary Lightbody got the crowd moving with the Hands Open, reaching out to the audience and changing lyrics, singing “St. Petersburg bursts to life,” instead of Chicago. It was enough to earn more cheering.

Instead of playing songs exclusively from the new album, Snow Patrol covered many older favorites, like Crack the Shutters, Run and Chocolate. Set Fire to the Third Bar, originally a duet with Martha Wainwright, was a dramatic performance that was just as moving with only Lightbody’s voice.

Before dedicating their best-known hit, Chasing Cars, to their manager’s children, Lightbody goaded the crowd into a sing-off with Shut Your Eyes, pitting he men against the women. The weak male response brought out the singer’s sense of humor.

“Men, get your balls out of your wife’s handbag and shout!”

After “closing” with You Are All that I Have, they returned with the somber and touching Lifening. The final number, Just Say Yes, had Lightbody sitting on the edge of the stage, meeting fans’ gazes and reaching for them.

As a fan, I was glad to see the band play their older songs – the ones many of us have bonded with over the years. Snow Patrol’s loud, energetic and impassioned performance no only brought back so many great memories, it created a new one.