Friday, August 25, 2006

Snow Patrol kicks off "concert season"

Last year felt littered with concerts, pretty much from May through fall, but this year, after starting off with symphonies and operas, we're hitting the concerts hard and fast in the next few months. Of course, I'm writing this much later than I should have, which allows me to say that. Otherwise, I never would have known some bands were starting tours this fall.


Snow Patrol

They caught my attention last year when I heard them on the radio, and more so when the HBO series Empire Falls used "Run" in its trailers. I looked them up and saw that they would be performing at Avalon, but by then, the show was already sold out. Doh!

So this year, with the release of their new album, Eyes Open, Snow Patrol came back into town to perform yet again at Avalon. So the tour commences as planned, but unfortunately, the lead singer started having problems with his throad and was in danger of losing his ability to use his voice completely if he didn't postpone the tour to rest and heal. This happens the day before the concert in Boston, which was the last one in the U.S. - I think the had just performed in DC the night of the announcement.

Well, although it was the best thing for him to do, I felt a bit cheated. Not only was Sarah's graduation the day after the scheduled concert, but I had bought plane tickets to fly into Philly that Saturday morning because of the show, instead of flying into Philly Friday night. THEN I had to buy tickets for an earlier flight for reasons I won't get into, so there goes more moolah. So the show caused a bit of a scheduling headache.

Fast forward to August 15th...

their re-scheduled show at the Bank of America Pavillion. I was thinking of selling the tickets, because I had wanted to see them in the much smaller venue of Avalon, instead of a large seated amphitheatre, and actually had a buyer interested after posting them on craigslist. But I decided to keep them in fear that the next time they perform, it may be an arena. Also, I checked to see if Avalon ticketholders had special preference in seating since Avalon is general admission, and they were selling more tickets for the BOAP show. Turns out we did have access to the sections closest to the stage.

Outside the pavillion, there were huge lines to get in because it was a general admission show. We could hear Aberdeen City performing inside. I like what I heard. Sounded a bit like New Order and Depeche Mode. But the long lines weren't as distracting as the people in them. And not in a bad way. Many of them were Irish, and not just Irish-American, but people from Ireland. You could tell not only by the Irish paraphenalia such as flags, green, white and orange t-shirts, but also by the beet red faces and accents everywhere.

We had decent seats considering the time we got there, especially for a general admission show. I'm usually so on top of those kinds. The folks in front of us were from Ireland, telling Brian that the band is Irish after he inquired. There was one particular fan who was dressed as if he were at an Irish soccer match and was quite inebriated. He was in my direct line of sight to the stage, so it was rather entertaining watching both his antics and Snow Patrol.

Gary Lightbody, the lead singer, said few things during the concert, including:

- how difficult is was for them to get a flight, and when they finally did, the airline lost their luggage, and as a result he announced that he was wearing a new pair of tight jeans he bought on Newbury Street
- how this was the biggest venue they've perform in, and how things have changed since performing at T.T. the Bears
- adapting to "star treatment", staying at a fancy hotel downtown, and how they plan to eat burgers after the show
- acknowledging Boston with having the largest Irish population outside of Ireland, and says, "This is a one off show just for you guys. We fly back to Europe tomorrow."


Here is their setlist, in no particular order, by album:

Eyes Open
"Chasing Cars" -- Before they performed this, Gary said, "It's 50% boys, 50% girls. Everyone could be married by the end of this gig."

"It's Beginning to Get to Me"
"Open Your Eyes"
"Make This Go On Forever"
"Headlights On Dark Roads"
"Shut Your Eyes"
"You're All I Have" - encore
"Tiny Little Fractures" - encore

Final Straw
"How to Be Dead"
"Spitting Games"
"Gleaming Auction"
"Grazed Knees"
"Ways & Means"

The concert was tons of fun, and we both really enjoyed the performance. Gary's voice had healed completely, but unfortunately, with such a large venue, the music occasionally drowns out the vocals. (I really recommend concerts in small venues, even if you're standing the entire time.) Everyone around us was really into the music and especially went nuts during "Run" and "Chasing Cars", and surprisingly, they did not perform the very popular "Hands Open" - which was played over and over again on the alt rock stations here. After they had played the last encore, I really really thought that they were going to perform the song and was not convinced that the concert was over until the lights came back on. Oh well. That was the only big disappointment.

Wish we had better photos, but I had a brain fart and forgot to charge the camera's batteries. These were taken with my cell phone.

The only photo of Aberdeen City:

But here is a link to photos taken by another concert go-er:

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