Snow Patrol at the Fillmore Auditorium, 4/27/12 (photos and review) - Reverb

Snow Patrol at the Fillmore Auditorium, 4/27/12 (photos and review)

Throat issues and rockin’ anthems don’t exactly go together, but Snow Patrol made it work Friday night when the Scottish/Irish band brought its Fallen Empires tour to the Fillmore Auditorium.

Lead singer Gary Lightbody apologized repeatedly. “We’ll do better next time, I promise,” he said at one point, about the fact that his voice was faltering, and “How do you guys deal with this altitude; it’s crazy?” he asked, clearly out of breath, as he sucked down water at every chance, sometimes in the middle of songs. Add the fact that the band had periodic technical difficulties, and you’d think the crowd would have started chucking tomatoes.

Not so. The show was a hand-waving dancefest, spirited and upbeat, and sometimes surprisingly so for a band often better known for its wistful, pensive ballads.

Credit Lightbody himself for keeping everyone happy. Sure, the rest of the band holds up their end of things – particularly guitarist Nathan Connolly and drummer Jonny Quinn, the latter of whom is responsible for driving home the points this endearingly earnest band is always making – but it was shaggy-haired Lightbody who came out with his hands spread wide to the crowd to start them off with a version of “Hands Open” that sent out sharp, crowd-pumping guitar ripples.

The concert continued in the same vein, like arena rock in a more intimate setting. “Take Back the City” felt like it went on too long, but the band bounced back with a heartfelt “Crack the Shutters,” a perfect example of what this congenial group does best – meaningful, heartfelt ballads that draw listeners in through a combination of Lightbody’s
plaintive, lachrymose tones and the rest of the band’s insistent beat. It may not be the most innovative or revelatory sound going, but it does have a comfortable vibe, like sliding into already grooved cross-country ski tracks and swooshing along.

“Chasing Cars” is so comfortable that it’s an old slipper by now, and so well known Lightbody almost didn’t have to sing at all, and he almost didn’t – he kind of spoke/sang it, and kind of threw the crowd off when it came well before the finale (a slightly tired “Just Say Yes,” of course, came at the very end) – and that’s when he finally admitted he was really having problems with his throat.

It was testament to Lightbody’s dedication that he had pulled it together enough to bring out opener Ed Sheeran, whose truly gifted vocals had warmed up the room nicely, for “New York,” which was a true treat. The two men’s voices were ideally matched, and their pretend “bromance” a hoot. The only thing that came close to matching the moment was the band’s ability to get the place to shut up – it actually did, and I’ve seen other bands try this unsuccessfully — long enough to sing “Shut Your Eyes” as a duet of 30 couplets between the band and the house, and it was magical, starting out almost as a whisper and then moving into a dramatic crescendo.

Probably saved Lightbody’s throat a bit, too.

Set list
Hands Open
Take Back the City
Crack the Shutters
This Isn’t Everything You Are
Run
In the End
New York (with Ed Sheeran)
Set Fire to the Third Bar
Make This Go On Forever
Shut Your Eyes
Chasing Cars
Chocolate
Called Out in the Dark
You’re All I Have
Encore: The Life-ning, Just Say Yes

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Kyle Wagner is the Travel/OutWest editor for The Denver Post. You can reach her at 303-954-1599 or outwest@denverpost.com; twitter.com/kylewagnerworld.

Vy Pham is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.

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  • Gary Baker

    Throat sore or not, it was a canned show they play every night of the tour, and was only 1 hour and 20 min for 50.00? Kinda dumb to come to another country and short change the fans and yourself. I gave it a C-. As for the crowd, maybe close rocking, but rest of the venue was a grave yard and 10.00 PBR’s?
    Plus, the show might have sold all the tickets, but the venue was 60% full at best. 

    • Exbrummy

      Must have been at a different show Gary, our group of four all enjoyed it. A great show, a great crowd, but yes, the beer was expensive.