Live Review: Snow Patrol

12 August 2019 | 12:30 pm | Michael Prebeg

"Snow Patrol captivate the audience with raw emotion and comedic charm."

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“Hello Melbourne,” says Snow Patrol’s frontman Gary Lightbody. “We were standing on this stage in this exact venue the last time we were here, although it will be very different tonight – you definitely won’t need any earplugs.” Tonight’s show is an intimate acoustic set minus Johnny McDaid, who’s just undergone surgery. Ryan McMullan steps up to the plate and does an incredible job filling in on keyboards and guitars, impressively learning all songs on the setlist in just one week.

They get their first mistake over straight away with a false start on a wrong chord and admit there may be a lot of mistakes tonight as they are still adjusting. We hear them play songs live as we’ve never heard before - the premise of their latest release, Reworked (EP1). “It’s an album of covers of our own, there’s some new songs but mainly old songs reworked in a new way,” says Lightbody. It’s something special for fans to connect to their body of work from a different perspective, or as Lightbody exclaims, "It’s funny how singing songs in a different way can change the meaning of them."


Snow Patrol. Photos by Kikki MacLeod.

This year marks the band’s 25th anniversary together. Last year they released their seventh studio album, Wildness, which contains one particularly important song (Life On Earth) that Lightbody reveals took him five years to write. He thought he’d never write another song again but describes the day he finished it as the best feeling he’s ever experienced. He channels that passion into the performance tonight to make us feel like it’s the best song we’ve ever heard. 

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Australian Snow Patrol fans are very devoted. Lightbody shares that they “go the extra mile” every single time as they continue to sing long after the final chorus of Run. He believes it’s a phenomenon that only ever happens when they tour here. Some audience members take it even further with an encouraging, yet aggressive chant and he jokingly asks them to take it down a notch in the silent moment between song changeovers. It’s a difficult thing to command a room of this size with an entirely acoustic show, but Snow Patrol captivate the audience with raw emotion and comedic charm.

They share an unreleased song called I Think Of Home. The song, about their homeland of Northern Ireland, is performed solo by Lightbody. He explains this stripped-back performance of the track is very different to how it will sound on their forthcoming Reworked (EP2). They finally give in to the crowd’s requests to hear Chasing Cars, which gets the audience standing up in their seats, before building up to an encore of What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get? - they kindly ask us to sit back down for the emotional ballad. They confess they may need to plan their set a bit better as we’re all back on our feet for the uplifting final track, Just Say Yes.