LIVE REVIEW: Snow Patrol – QPAC

Snow Patrol are a band that have perfectly soundtracked the intimate moments of peoples deepest loves as well as their devastating heartbreaks. Managing to find the soothing contrast of both raw and vulnerable emotions, this Irish rock band have made a career of sharing their feelings in a vivid and captivating way. ‘Chasing Cars’ has been used in every emotional movie and TV show scene imaginable and has also been certified as the most played song of the 21st century in the UK, which is an incredible feat. 

After taking a six year hiatus between records, the five piece needed time to re-discover themselves in a creative space. The result of this well deserved break was their reflective seventh studio album ‘Wildness’. Returning to Australia to celebrate the release of this record, the band decided to give the Australian crowds something a little different on this special run of shows.

Stripping things back completely, the band appeared in a ‘Live & Acoustic’ form which saw them performing as a three piece to a sold out Brisbane crowd at the QPAC. With Johnny McDaid scheduled to play piano on the tour, he was last minute replaced by support act Ryan McMullan after he had to stay at home after a surgery. McMullan joined lead singer Gary Lightbody and guitarist Nathan Connolly for a 90 minute show of greatest hits, fan favourites and a lot of laughs. 

“Hello Brisbane! Everybody good?” Lightbody asked as the band kicked into opening tracks ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Crack The Shutters’. Taking a moment to tell the crowd how he read a tweet earlier that week about how a fan thought ‘Crack The Shutters’ was too personal to sing out loud. He laughed as he sang it tonight and realised just how provocative it actually was. He recounted the lyrics “your hills and valleys are mapped by my intrepid fingers” and had a little laugh again with the crowd.

Throughout the whole show, Lightbody entertained with his quirky little anecdotes and on-beat banter that was quick, reflective and enjoyable. As someone yelled out “play the song” during one of his anecdotes he quickly replied “If you don’t like talking in between songs then you’re at the wrong show. I don’t usually get to talk this much so I’m going to have fun with it”. 

Continuing the trip down memory lane with songs like ‘Empress’, ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’, ‘Don’t Give In’ and ‘Run’, they made sure they covered all bases from their discography. Even though the band have been together for 25 years, Lightbody admits that he still doesn’t know all the lyrics to his own songs and still needs assistance to remember all the tracks otherwise he wouldn’t remember them which the crowd found amusing. 

With the venue at full capacity, they even opened up some seating behind the stage which turned the stage into 360 mode. So for ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’ Lightbody turned his microphone stand and lyric stand around to face the people behind him so he could make sure he connected with them as well.

‘You’re All I Have’, ‘Life On Earth’ and ‘Heal Me’ kept the reflective vibes flowing but as the rest of the band left the stage Lightbody admitted that he was going to do something impromptu. Confessing that Connolly’s grandmother passed away earlier that day, he began thinking about his family and decided to play the emotional ‘Soon’ which was about his father’s battle with dementia. Dedicating the song to Connolly and his family, this sweet moment was raw and emotive that for obvious reasons they hadn’t played many times before. 

Premiering their upcoming single ‘I Think Of Home’ from their ‘Reworked’ album, they highlighted their Irish heritage before returning to the hits. With ‘Called Out In The Dark’, ‘Chasing Cars’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’ creating big singalong moments, the band thanked the crowd for a special sold out show. Returning to the stage for a little encore, they officially closed the show with ‘What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get’ and ‘Just Say Yes’. 

Creating an intimate atmosphere that highlighted the emotional tone of their material, they also found the right amount of light and shade to showcase the songs in this format. Lightbody is an entertaining frontman who knows how to play up to the crowd and give them an experience that feels unscripted, natural and unique. 

Check out the full gallery captured by Tam Schilling Photography HERE;

Photos by Tam Schilling

Snow Patrol Australian Tour

Saturday 10 August – Palais Theatre, Melbourne *Sold Out*

Sunday 11 August – Sydney Opera House, Sydney *Sold Out*

Tuesday 13 August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney *Sold Out*