Newest Review: ... were miles away actually, but it was still a fabulous performance. I found Snow Patrol Live to be a very entertaining gig, as there wer... more
Seasonal SNOW PATROL live at WEMBLEY 2006
Snow Patrol Live
Member Name: malibu_jenny
Snow Patrol Live
Date: 31/12/06, updated on 31/12/06 (450 review reads)
Advantages: A great live act...
Disadvantages: Fat guys sweat a lot!
A week or so ago, I stumbled through the front door, kicking off my boots and dumping my coat on the banister. It had a been a long day at my new job and I was facing the added dilemma of when to take the day’s holiday I had accrued and would lose if I didn’t use it by Christmas. Of course, I wanted to use it to maximum advantage in terms of Christmas shopping, but I didn’t want to use it too soon. As I was pondering this and before I’d even made it to the kettle, Dad appeared at the top of the stairs. “Um, you’ve…. tickets to see the arctic something?” he said. Being fluent in Dad speak, I was delighted to realise after a few more lines of conversation that his friend had gone on a last minute holiday to Scotland and thoughtfully left me her tickets for Snow Patrol.
Snow Patrol aren’t (or should I say weren’t?) a band that I know particularly well, but I’m one of those people who just loves live music. I knew a couple of songs and there was no doubt in my mind that I’d enjoy it.
Not so The Boyfriend. “I don’t know who they are” he whined, “I don’t wanna go….”. And why would I want to take someone who didn’t want to go? I picked up the phone to call my brother or his little sister (both of whom love Snow Patrol) and he snatched it out of my hand. Even at the age of 30, he can’t stand the possibility that she might get to go in his place. With his dad sniggering in the background he sulkily agreed to go.
The show being at Wembley Arena, we decided to use the late finish to our advantage and book a hotel. Although we are only half an hour from Paddington here, missing the last train leaves you in for a cold and uncomfortable night and catching it means an ungodly scrap over the taxis at the other end. I reasoned that if we woke up fresh and ready to face the day in London, we would get a lot more Christmas shopping done.
Snow Patrol was on a Tuesday meaning I had to leave work a little early. My boss signed the holiday form to cover Wednesday, agreed after making sure that an ‘early’ finish meant post-lunchtime and I was free to get going by 3pm. Despite a few closures on the underground, we stuffed down some pasta and dawdled to the station. It said on the tickets that the show would start at 7.30. Being a seasoned veteran when it comes to this kind of thing (and also the kind of person who is perennially late) I was in no hurry. The Boyfriend knows better than to rush me, so arrival time was nearer 9pm.
Wembley Arena is most easily reached from the revamped Wembley Park station. We arrived to find it buzzing with other Snow Patrol fans. This turned out to be very lucky for us, there is only one sign in the station to indicate an exit for Wembley Arena and as we stepped out into a freezing night, we were reminded by the police to drug dealer ratio that Wembley is not a nice area to be wandering in the dark. We joined the herd heading for the arena and noticed what a mixed bag Snow Patrol had attracted. There was a noticeably wide range of ages and a very nice atmosphere; the pleas from the touts gave the impression that this diverse audience meant a sold out gig.
After a walk along the allegedly pedestrianised route (they have that block paving, but you still have to cross roads!) Wembley Arena loomed out of the dark with illuminated jets of water and neon jacketed staff. There was no queue to speak of for seated tickets (which we had) although the line for standing looked fairly daunting. We underwent the compulsory searches and the theft by someone we couldn’t argue with of the top from our water bottle. This may seem a lot of preamble, but for me the anticipation was key. With no further ado, we were in our seats and awaiting Snow Patrol.
Wembley Arena reminds me of a cross between the end of term assembly (I went to a big school!) and an end of term disco (the volume and smell of sweat). For anyone who hasn’t visited it, this cavernous sports hall is rectangular in shape with seating on three sides. We were lucky with our seats, they were on the end of one side, meaning that we could simply turn sideways and enjoy a brilliant view. The only problem was the fat guy next to us blocking it. Straight after the support acts (Field and Elbow) finished, he was on his feet and ready. He proceeded to stand for the whole performance – not something I would normally object to at a gig, but he was exceptionally shaky on his feet and we went home wearing his beer. However, we did laugh it off and were able to climb up the railing behind us to see over him.
The 19th was the second night of Snow Patrol’s tour. The previous day they’d played to a packed Wembley for the first time and there was a definite impression that they were amazed with their success. They opened to cheers with Spitting Games, then the lead singer Gary Lightbody addressed the audience. This left The Boyfriend and I looking at each other in confusion. We’d thought Snow Patrol to be a Scottish Indie band, but this was the first time we’d heard the guy speak and he sounded Irish? Well he is, as I have since discovered, from Belfast. Luckily, that’s an accent I quite like - he seemed to have a lot to say. It ranged from repeated thanks to declaring his love for the (male) drummer, causing The Boyfriend to pull the kind of face that straight men use to convey anything they consider as dubiously sentimental.
By halfway through, the crowd had really begun to warm up, The Boyfriend had realised that he did in fact recognise several songs, I was loving it and finding that even though I needed to use the toilet, I really didn’t want to leave our little metal nest. Then… Chasing Cars! This isn’t one of my personal favourites, but it would appear to be the one song that everyone knew. The audience drowned the band out, the main floor (standing area) really began to move below us and all eyes faced front. Fat Guy was almost weeping with emotion. Looking down at the crowd below, I marvelled that the orange light made their heads look like a sea of baked beans, punctuated with stars of light as they filmed the stage with their mobile phones.
I turned to say to The Boyfriend that ‘people should just appreciate it here and now… blah blah’ but he was busy erasing things from the memory of his Samsung in order to capture the moment. Someone else did a much better job of filming the evening in question: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcMS6vi4oWY> provides a fantastic view of the band on the night we were there and it’s almost certain you’ll recognise the song.
Immediately after, they covered a song I didn’t recognise and several hundred people, including me, bolted for the toilets. On my return, other songs including Chocolate were equally well performed and the evening passed in a flash. The final song was ‘You’re all I Have’ and my absolute favourite. A bouncy, bubbly song which I listened to on my i pod whilst interailing, this one had everyone on their feet. It was a great song for Snow Patrol to finish on and I didn’t even care that Fat Guy was stood on my feet and handbag. It was a brilliant encore.
We left straight afterwards, climbing over the seats to beat the crowds and legging it for the station in time to catch the last train. Judging by the numbers behind us and the tube problems which had plagued the evening, there were a lot of cold people who didn’t fare quite so well. The Boyfriend whipped out his phone and began to annoy me and the rest of the carriage by watching his new videos again and again. (“Look at Fat Guy’s arm darling! He really loved that song!”) Luckily most passengers were almost comatose from festive drinking and his battery gave up at Baker Street. In the name of preventing public nuisance, I didn’t let him start singing the songs until we reached the hotel room. It should be noted that he was still humming them the following morning while I was in the shower.
I’ve seen well over a hundred bands live and Snow Patrol stood out as modest, not too flashy and a great live performance. We both had a brilliant night and this review is dedicated to the lady who kindly gave us the tickets – THANK YOU!
Summary: The Boyfriend gave me a Snow Patrol album for Christmas, so let's hope I'll be seeing them live agai
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