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Snow Patrol made a triumphant return to Belfast on the first of the band’s three-night, sold-out engagement at the city’s Odyssey Arena. After two dates in Dublin, the British rock band brought their Fallen Empires tour to Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on Monday January 23rd for the first of three consecutive dates to be played at the venue.
These dates mark Snow Patrol’s first appearance in Belfast since the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards which were held last November, and it was clear from the words of frontman Gary Lightbody that this homecoming was an important one as the band’s promotion of their sixth studio album, Fallen Empires, gets underway.
Supporting Snow Patrol on this night was Everything Everything, a British indie band whose embryonic sound set the stage aptly for the headlining act’s stadium-friendly setlist.
While this tour is primarily in support of Fallen Empires, the band made sure to play plenty of fan favourites, ranging from the soft rock tones of “Run” to their classic hit “Chasing Cars.” In between, Lightbody proved himself to be quite the personable star as he entertained the audience at one point with anecdotes of failing to meet Justin Bieber before segueing seamlessly into a more poignant moment during which he paid tribute to his 72-year old father.
In spite of Lightbody’s vibrant engagement with the crowd, the band as a whole had plenty of moments to come together as a collective unit and deliver the type of uplifting anthems for which they are most commonly known. They were at their strongest during a performance of new single “This Isn’t Everything You Are”, a track which allows Lightbody to harmonise with his fellow band members during the rousing chorus section.
Given Snow Patrol’s habit of allowing their music to be used in film and television soundtracks, it was unsurprising to see their back catalogue consisting of so many well-known, yet probably forgotten hits; this, however, is what makes the band all that bit more accessible to the casual listener and why they remain one of the few British bands from the last decade to achieve success in the North American music market, with Fallen Empires in fact continuing the band’s trend of increasingly-higher debuts on the US Billboard Album Chart.
Their gratitude and lack of ego were consistently evident throughout the concert and explain why the band will enjoy two further sold-out dates at this venue over the coming days. Without question, the best-received tracks of the night were “Chasing Cars”, “Open Your Eyes”, “Run” and “Just Say Yes” – the latter of which served as the final performance of the evening.
Lightbody encouraged the crowd into participating in a sing-along during “Run”, a song which has enjoyed a second life since being covered by Leona Lewis in 2008. Bringing the concert to a close with “Just Say Yes” was an appropriate choice given the song’s infectious positivity and simple message about taking a leap of faith and not being paralysed by fear.
Snow Patrol certainly demonstrated through the cohesion of their sound the charisma of their frontman that they have no fear once they step onto the stage and do what they do best.