When Snow (Patrol) hits Manila

I love going to concerts. There’s nothing like hearing your favorite songs live. Goosebumps are a natural reaction, screaming is a requirement (okay not necessarily), and just having fun dancing around/banging your head while in your seat is just plain fun. The vibe inside a venue filled with fans for a particular group/singer is so positive and contagious. I thrive in an environment like that.

Last concert or I should say pseudo-concert I been to this year was Kina Grannis’s mini-showcase at Meralco Theater last March. I say pseudo-concert because her show got canceled then and was reschedule to August 8 because some of her younger fans were complaining they’d miss her concert because of their exams. She performed around five songs for those who came out to claim tickets though. It was fun because it was intimate but there is a certain appeal for the large stadium concerts, too.

And one stadium concert I went to fairly recently (August 9 to be exact) was the Snow Patrol Fallen Empires Tour at Smart-Araneta Coliseum. While we got the cheapest seats for the show, just being inside a venue where you hear beautiful music being played live is a totally different experience from just listening to the studio tracks.

Their performance left a great impression on me even from the general admission seats. I am not a big Snow Patrol fan but I do think they make great songs. My appreciation for the band grew after that concert I’ve been listening to their albums since Friday. I’m most likely still riding on a post-concert high but I do believe they are one of those groups worth watching live. If they do come back, I’ll make sure to watch them again.

The stage was set to the bare minimum with the instruments and a seven-panel setup at the back that was used to project visuals and shots of the band as well as of the crowd. The light setup is a different story though. It played to the strengths of the band and showcased their music. As mentioned in the Spot.ph article about the concert, “The band’s simple but catchy tracks carried by throbbing guitar melodies and soul-stirring lyrics took centerstage in a show that, save for the dazzling stage lighting, was really all about the music.”

You can sense the crowd’s apprehension at times though. Perhaps a lot of people in the crowd weren’t as familiar with the band’s songs but for the group’s more popular songs, there were a lot of enthusiastic cheering. Everyone lost their marbles when Chasing Cars came on. It was a surreal experience being able to sing along with them.

Hearing This Isn’t Everything You Are live struck all the right nerves for me. They introduced that song after expressing their grief and admiration for the Filipinos after the calamity that hit the country. They did the same with the encore song Lifening, which Gary said was about his home and he couldn’t quite fathom how it must feel for those who have lost their homes because of the tragedy. He expressed their admiration for the Filipino’s grace and strength in these trying times. It was quite a classy and touching move.

Another highlight for me was the performance of Fallen Empires. It’s unlike the usual slow Snow Patrol ballad that it commanded much presence especially accompanied by the spectacular light show. I was so completely mesmerized by that performance.

It was an hour and half of almost non-stop concert fun that celebrated the best the group had to offer. I was just wishing they played You Could Be Happy but perhaps that might be too slow and sad for a big production like this one. I loved every single minute of it. Closing with Just Say Yes sealed the deal for everyone there. I am waiting for another opportunity to watch them live.

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