Snow Patrol / March 31, 2007 / Toronto (Ricoh Coliseum)
With nearly a year under its belts touring behind their "Eyes Open" album, Snow Patrol couldn't be entirely faulted if it delivered a rather routine, punch-the-clock show in Toronto. Fortunately for tWith nearly a year under its belts touring behind their "Eyes Open" album, Snow Patrol couldn't be entirely faulted if it delivered a rather routine, punch-the-clock show in Toronto. Fortunately for the sold-out crowd, the group didn't go through the motions despite delivering a rather similar show last year in a smaller Toronto club. The band, led by the jovial and self-deprecating Gary Lightbody, proved it has goods to make that all-important jump to the arenas.
Walking out to music by M83, the quintet drove headlong into the tight "Spitting Games" from 2004's "Final Straw," with Lightbody urging the crowd to clap along. Unlike typical stoic Toronto audiences, they quickly obliged as Snow Patrol went seamlessly into the steady and infectious "It's Beginning To Get to Me." With no gimmicks or video screens, aside from a large wall of light behind them a la Coldplay or U2, the music successfully did the talking for the 90-minute set.
But despite the momentum, Lightbody seemed a bit frazzled. Citing the fact he broke with superstition and put his attire on in a different order, the singer urged the crowd to rid him of the minor technical problems he was having. "I think you frightened it into submission," he said prior to the slower "Grazed Knees," which stifled the pace briefly. It was quickly atoned for with "Chasing Cars" which had much of the crowd standing.
In what has apparently become a recent tradition, the band took a slight breather halfway through to bring two girls, Alex and Jenny, up from the audience to sing "Set the Fire to the Third Bar." A low point came during "Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking," which packed little punch, but a few songs later, "Run" offered all the spine-tingling verve and bombast as it did when it first hit the airwaves.
The three-song encore contained the hushed "The Finish Line" and another glorious highlight during "Open Your Eyes," with Lightbody, guitarist Nathan Connolly and bassist Paul Wilson completely lost in the moment and playing as if the safety of their passports hung in the balance. "Hands Open" rounded out a very strong performance from a group with much more to give.
As good as the road is for some bands, too touring much can be problematic, as was the case with OK Go's supporting set. The group delivered each song note-perfect but everything seemed just too telegraphed during "Invincible" and "Television." One oddity that did work though was a rowdy cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down."
Meanwhile, show openers Silversun Pickups shined throughout much of their brief set, capping things off with a fantastic version of "Lazy Eye" featuring Snow Patrol's Wilson and OK Go drummer Dan Konopka.
Here is Snow Patrol's set list:
"It's Beginning To Get to Me"
"Headlights on Dark Roads"
"How To Be Dead"
"Shut Your Eyes"
"Set the Fire to the Third Bar"
"Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking"
"Make This Go On Forever"
"Ways and Means"
"You're All I Have"
"The Finish Line"
"Open Your Eyes"