Thursday, April 09, 2009

No Shame- Snow Patrol

**Part of a new column where I talk about musical pleasures that I am not at all guilty about.**

I don't care if this makes you dislike me as a person/you stop reading my blog- I really like Snow Patrol. I have listened to "Eyes Open" and "Final Straw" many, many times, and enjoyed both many, many times. In fact, "Eyes Open" was probably my favorite (and most-listened) album in 9th grade.

Anyway, when I saw Snow Patrol in concert two years ago, I was blown away. My friends and I got to the venue (which was actually the basketball arena at a local university) hours before doors opened. After playing countless rounds of Egyptian Rat Screw and War and befriending the girls behind us in line, the line started moving and we ran to get a good spot in the arena. And, of course, we did. We were front and center for the whole show.

The first act was Silversun Pickups. They played the very loud, very distorted pop that made "Carnavas" such a masterpiece with incredible energy, giving the show a huge kick in the right direction.

Then came OK Go. I had never seen them live before, but my friends and I instantly fell in love (especially with frontman Damien Kulash, who later stage-dove right on top of us. Awesome.). We danced and sang-along throughout their entire set and by the time they were done playing the lively, dynamic power-pop the group is known for, we were pleastantly exhausted.

Then, of course, came Snow Patrol. WOW. I still remember their set perfectly even though it was a full two years ago. The whole thing, from first note to last "Goodnight DC!" was spell-binding. Each song packed such a powerful punch of emotion that it sounded simutaneously like we were listening to the music through headphones alone and in a massive stadium. I've only heard U2 live once (when they played two songs at the "We Are One" concert for Barack Obama in January) but that is the best comparison I can make. Everyone in the room was captivated by their music. If frontman Gary Lightbody held his hands up during a song, each member of the devoted crowd would do the same. At one point, Lightbody copped a move frmo OK Go and asked the audience to hold up their cellphones for "Chasing Cars." My friends and I turned around to see if people complied, and yes, they most definitely did. The effect was mesmerizing. Not only was the massive audience singing every word of the (call it sappy, whatever...) single, every fan was holding a glowing little light that transformed what could have been an average concert moment into a simply perfect four minutes. Seeing Snow Patrol live, especially at the height of my fandom, felt like a religious experience.

While my love for the band has waned (Don't even bother with their new album, "A Hundred Million Suns." Ugh.) this show still stands as one of the best I've ever seen. Now, listening to "Eyes Open" after hearing the album live is difficult to do. I'm always taken back to that arena and reminded that everything sounded a million times better in those few hours.

No comments: