Into Music Reviews: Snow Patrol at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Act: Snow Patrol
Venue: SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Date: 31 January 2019

It’s been over seven years since Snow Patrol played a venue this size in Glasgow. Although they did visit Glasgow last year to do the BBC Quay Sessions and play an intimate King Tuts show. That was the band slowly crawling back into the glare of the spotlight after a long hiatus that was mainly down to singer Gary Lightbody’s fight with alcohol and depression which, thankfully, he seems to be winning. Now the band are out on the road to support the release of their seventh studio album, the rather good, Wildness.

Snow Patrol probably border on the edge of guilty pleasure for me and are as close as I probably get to main stream pop or at least as much as I’ll admit to. Since Run and Chocolate were released, I’ve always kept one eye out for the band but I have to admit they had completely fallen off my radar having been away for so long and I was surprised that they could still fill this size of arena but fill it they did.

Tonight’s show was pretty much a greatest hits set interspersed with five new songs and it was the new songs that showed a real vulnerability and maturity of Lightbody’s writing as he chronicled some of the struggles he has been coping with in the last few years. Given Snow Patrol are the masters of melancholy the new songs took on an extra pathos particularly on Don’t Give in and What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?.

Of course, the band can write an anthem or two and after a relatively slow start the coupling of Open Your Eyes and the fantastic Run really warmed things up even if Lightbody messed up the beginning of Run by pressing the wrong pedal. He also mentioned Run was written in Glasgow in 2001 and is of course the city where the band formed, even though they are really a Northern Irish band. Lightbody’s Irish lilt kind of gives it away.

From this point on the band could do no wrong. We had the special effect curtain coming down and showing psychedelic animation for You Could Be Happy, an emotional Lifening dedicated to keyboardist and guitarist Johnny McDaid’s dad who had been a massive supporter of the band before he passed away and this was his favourite song. The crowd singalong of Chasing Cars where Lightbody just stood at the front of the stage with a big stupid grin on his face and let the crowd take the song along and main set closer the pulsating You’re All I Have.

Returning to finish with new song What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get? with Lightbody accompanied by McDaid on piano and ending the evening with Just Say Yes. A song that has a bit of an odd history, originally written for Gwen Stefani who rejected it then Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls recorded it for her solo album but it never made the final cut so Snow Patrol took it back and recorded it themselves. Certainly not their normal type of song but a fitting way to end a very entertaining evening and Lightbody all but confirmed Snow Patrol would play Trnsmt when telling us they’d be back in the summer. Not really a surprise to many, mind you, as many had already predicted they would be one of the headliners.

Kevin Williamson

Setlist

Take Back the City / Chocolate / Crack the Shutters / Empress / Don’t Give In / Open Your Eyes / Run / You Could Be Happy / Life on Earth / Make This Go On Forever / Shut Your Eyes / Lifening / Heal Me / The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends?) / Chasing Cars / You’re All I Have.

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Open Your Eyes

Run

Chasing Cars

You’re All I Have

What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?

Just Say Yes

If you want to watch the whole show someone videoed the whole thing!

 

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