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Music

Snow Patrol @ Metropolis Tues. Sep. 12

Posted by Jer / September 14, 2006

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It would be easy to dismiss Snow Patrol as middle-of-the-road average rock. But, that would make for a short review and, more importantly, it wouldn't explain why hundreds of people seemed enthusiastically into everything the band was laying down at Metropolis on Tuesday night.

Snow Patrol, a five piece Irish Scottish hybrid, is currently on tour in support of their second album Eyes Open. They started their set off, oddly, with an empty stage, flashing red and blue lights and "Teen Angst" by M83 pumping through the house sound system. I dig M83, and you should definitely check out that song, but the crowd seemed unsure of how to react to an empty stage and blinking lights for two minutes.

Snow Patrol finally took the stage and kicked off with three tracks from their debut, Final Straw. As they chugged through a set featuring equal parts new and old album, Gary Lightbody's heavily accented vocals stole the show. His thick voice is certainly part of the band's appeal and although the guitarist and bassist chimed in regularly with competent background vocals, Lightbody is more than capable of carrying a song on his own. Beyond the catchy melodies, Snow Patrol songs also have a darker tone that sets them apart from similar rock outfits. Not dark like Metallica or Goth dark, but dark like the kind of dark you'd could still play in the car with your mother (sorry, I should say my mother, your mom is probably a headbanging freak).

The crowd's favourite song* was the current single, "Chasing Cars". The song was used as a tear-jerker on last season's finale of Grey's Anatomy. Incidentally, "Open Your Eyes", the penultimate track on the new album was featured in last year's finale of ER. Apparently, Snow Patrol has the medical drama soundtrack market cornered.

This may be because Snow Patrol excels at swelling climaxes, with songs that build for two or three minutes before launching into a crash of guitars and drums. The most interesting parts of either Snow Patrol album are the little production touches; sampled low-fi drum loops backing the real drums, chimes, strings and other electronic tidbits fill in the basic backbones of the songs.

In concert, sadly, most of these extras disappear or actually serve to constrain the show. When electronic beats are used, the band is stuck like a metronome. As a result, there's little play, little spontaneity. I have nothing against bands using pre-recorded tracks at shows (see the MP review of Ratatat), but here it drives the songs to such an extent that we're left listening to a louder version of the CD.

Lightbody live is prone to histrionics but this didn't seem to bother the crowd; they cheered loudly at gestures I found overly grandiose (e.g. reaching his hands in the air as if falling, singing with shirt pulled over face). Endearingly, he practiced his broken french on us and even dedicated a song to all our great Canadian artists (Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, The Russian Futurists etc...). He also dedicated a song to the audience, to the opening band (Augustina, who apparently sounded like Our Lady Peace) and to "all the shoddy workmanship in the world" (this in response to his guitar cutting in and out intermittently for two entire songs. Roadies ran around like a crack team of monkeys replacing patch cords, and eventually handing him a new guitar).

By the end of the night the dedications, like the rest of the show, started wearing thin. I went home with their melodies in my head as a reminder of how odd slightly above average sounds.

*(based on a totally scientific measurement of the quantity of phones/cameras that lit up to film the momentus occasion)

(while you're here, let me apologize for the b.s. photo, an mp editor, who will remain nameless, told me no cameras allowed at the show.mental note: don't listen to mp editor in future)

Discussion

7 Comments

Axel / February 4, 2015 at 02:29 am
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FalkirionI've gone faster. But I was a bit more tidy with my lap. But that was a great drive.The parts that let you down (In my opoinin) were? the exit on turn and 2, up through the esses you need to be a bit smoother, the hairpin was a bit of a sloppy line. Spoon needs a bit of tidying on the second half of the turn. 130R can be taken flat out with only a slight lift if any, and you went deep on the chichane. Just slow up a bit earlier and you'll pick up about .5 second to 1 sec. Great driving
golu dolls / March 26, 2019 at 12:59 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 12:59 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 12:59 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 26, 2019 at 01:00 am
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nice post

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