Thursday, August 09, 2012

Snow Patrol: Fallen Empires Tour in Manila

Light up, light up.... I'll be right beside you dear.

After having half the city submerged in flood water barely two days ago and experiencing torrential rains for almost a week, the sun finally came out today like a beacon calling to all Snow Patrol fans to come out and rejoice, for the concert would push through as scheduled.

Rain or shine, I already made up my mind to go. I initially planned to attend the block screening of The Bourne Legacy at the Mall of Asia but ended up missing it because of the bad weather so the only highlight of the week was this concert, which---in all honesty was something that I've been looking forward to for two...three months now. Luckily, the rain let up long enough to make the roads passable to light vehicles, so off I went to the concert venue to witness an awesome show and more importantly, listen to some good music.

Okay, so maybe some people consider Snow Patrol quite mawkish and maybe not everyone has heard of the band and their music (even though they've had at least one or two songs featured in Grey's Anatomy and just about any CW series), but at least, in my mind, they're not as big and cloying as Coldplay, nor as heavily criticized or ridiculed. Underrated and inconspicuous, that's what they are, but you would not have thought of that seeing the number of people who turned out at their concert earlier tonight.

There was a shared feeling of excitement as the crowd listened to the remix of Berlin and watched seven LCD panels deliver colorful visuals timed to the music. By the time the band hit the stage with tracks like Hands Open, Take Back the City and Crack the Shutters, the crowd was on its feet. People were cheering, clapping, singing in unison and the sheer energy brought by the audience was equally matched by frontman Gary Lightbody, who conducted the event like a seasoned performer. He kept the people engaged, made small talk and even introduced songs between sets as expected of a singer/songwriter in an old school band.

The band sounded great, the lighting design was top notch and the images projected onscreen complemented the music. I had no doubt that people went home happy to hear a great selection of songs from the band's discography.

Crowd favorites such as Chasing Cars, Run, Chocolate and You're All I Have were performed with just about the same reverence and fondness as recent material from their latest album. I had a kick listening to the melancholy vibe of New York and Make This Go on Forever, the irreverent beat of Fallen Empires, and the fading grandiosity of This isn't Everything You Are. There's something to be said about the simplicity that one can find in Snow Patrol's music---the steady repetition of words and phrases in their lyrics, and the almost timeless appeal of hooks and bridges in every song melody that triggers an emotion or memory, that makes a person sing one's heart out. Lightbody's voice has a raw yet sincere quality to it; there's a quiet desperation in it that people can easily relate to without necessarily being burdened or oppressed by its weight because the songs that he sings are never without hope. Sentimental, yes, even to a fault. But there's hope and promise behind every tune and there's hardly any bitterness no matter how sad its origin. Of course, it also helps to mix things up a little by experimenting with different beats and dabbling into techno/electronica music.

As an encore, the band played Lifening which was a wistful, sentimental song that speaks of happiness that can be found in the simplest of things. To cap off the night, Just Say Yes was performed amidst blue-white flashing lights and the distinct, Irish way in which Lightbody sang the line, "Please take my heart..." to an already smitten crowd. It was a superb concert, the best one I've seen so far this year.         

 As usual, I can't be expected to take any pictures.
 Concert photo by Imaginary Ordinary 
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