Retrospective : Concerts of 2009 – Snow Patrol, Live at the London O2 Arena, Monday 16th March 2009

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Concerts of 2009, Pop, Popular Music, Rock Music
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Snow Patrol Review – O2 Arena, London, Monday 16th March 2009

The O2 Arena has never been my favourite place to watch any band. Superficially, to the un-initiated, it appears a brash cavernous temple to famous stadia filling rock bands or mainstream artists. As such it can be be a tricky place to play .  The show has to be big to fill this space and engender some kind of atmosphere. So, it was with some trepidation, I went to this concert, wondering if Snow Patrol would be up-to the job. Neither with the site of a mainly middle aged or thirty something audience, (certainly where I was sitting) many with children did my hopes rise. But appearances can be deceptive and soon all prejudices disappeared. As Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol himself observed, this did not feel a Monday night crow but a Saturday night crowd. The band fed off this “vibe” but they prepared a show that was the equal to the size of the venue. With obviously , the new album “A Million Suns” as the central theme to the show and with the album cover image as the opening  backdrop, the Northern Irish band threw themselves into the gig with gusto with the overwordy titled first track from the new album “If there’s a rocket tie me to it”. The concert ebbed back and forth nicely between tracks from the current album to previous albums , notably Final Straw , which was also the 2nd track of the night and from which, occasionally we were to see the album cover as a animated backdrop. Then a track sung with real passion, “Hands Open” from the Eyes Open album.  There were of course, the crowd pleasing Snow Patrol classics. “Run” was particularly memorable as the O2 arena showed itself in fine voice , singing along with the acoustic start singer and then finishing with booming full band . Lead singer Lightbody was visibly overcome  and clearly emotional soaked up the deserved 5 minutes ovation awarded the band at the end. Predictably “Chasing Cars” also produced another good sing-a-long as did “Shut you Eyes” where Lightbody got a boys versus girls singing contest. This was very entertaining but it has to be said the boys out-sang the girls by about 3 to 1 in volume. Two tracks from the new albums “Crack the shutters” and “Take back the city” were edgy and the latter played thrillingly raw while all the names of Great British cities appeared one by one onto a backdrop.

The encore proved the artistic point of the show with the band playing behind a thin curtain , which was the focal point for cinematographic swirling patterns of stars , the cosmo and flowers while the band played the concept instrumental “The Lighting Strike” and “You could be happy”. There was certainly a feeling of the hypnotic about this section of the concert. But the final satisfaction went to the anthem rock lovers with the show being rounded off nicely with a barnstorming rendition of  “You’re all I have”.  There have been a few detractors of Snow Patrol of late with some accusations of the band producing only middle of the road rock. However, anyone with these thoughts should have attended the O2 and witnessed a first rate, entertaining and engaging show with plenty of  rock n roll spirit on offer.


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