Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My concert going has certainly increased exponentially since I moved to London two years ago. Thankfully, the quality of the performers hasn’t dropped. There have been so many concerts that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself at and have been convinced that that one would have been the concert of the year for me, only for it to be topped a couple of weeks later. Not that each concert gets better and better, just that they’re all so good that it’s hard to pick just one. And they’re all good in different ways too.

Last night’s concert by Snow Patrol (the fourth show in their Reworked tour showcasing their previous work as The Reindeer Section in addition to their body of work as Snow Patrol) was one such concert. I know what everyone says about the band: they’re Coldplay-light, they’re bland, they’re safe. Whatever. They’re incredibly radio-friendly and accessible by a wide range of people, yes. They do a lot of songs about love, yes. But what’s wrong in that?

And as performers, Snow Patrol certainly do give their all. Gary Lightbody was full of energy and just like a kid on Christmas day yesterday night. The Royal Albert Hall does seem to have that effect on the bands I’ve seen perform there. Much like Glen Hansard from The Swell Season, Gary was awed at performing in this most hallowed of concert venues, and it showed. In a way, he looked very much like Ian Curtis dancing, with slightly jerky arm movements, unable to restrain his joy, yet not daring to move too much in case he'd wake up from this wonderful dream. It was great just seeing how happy he was, particularly in the wake of the review of the first concert of this tour which seemed to feature an audience much more placid than tonight's.

The one thing I will say about Snow Patrol: they are one of the few bands whose songs never fail to make me just want to close my eyes and sink into the music. Their songs are soothing, relaxing and, in so many ways, very relatable. And when I’m seeing them performed live, it always gets me right there, and I have to struggle a little not to cry either out of sadness or sheer joy. And a performer that’s capable of drawing such emotion out of his/her audience is to be admired, regardless of how you might feel about ‘safe’ music.

I enjoyed the entire concert, except perhaps the very first single they released as Snow Patrol. Fortunately - for me at least - they've gone from strength to strength ever since. You Could Be Happy, once again, got to me. Seeing as it is the song which triggered my relapse back in the summer (particularly when Gary sings "for the tiniest moment, it's all not true"), that's perfectly understandable. However, several months on, I've come to the revelation that this song is, as Gary says to us on this night, is ultimately about happiness, and not regret.

It is also the moment I realise that I am well and truly over MD. Not that I'd been moping over him before that, but that I can honestly stand up and say that he's in my past, and that I loved him, without any hesitation before pronouncing the 'd' in that.

But tonight isn't about loneliness or past loves or regrets. It's all about the music I enjoy. And following that revelation, I just throw myself into the music, joining in with the clapping and hollering and am just generally to be found grinning from ear to ear the whole night. Yes, I am disappointed that they don't play You Are My Joy or Signal Fire, but, hey, I love a lot of their other songs too, and I'm having such a great time that I don't really care. In fact, if it weren't for work, I'd probably have come back to see them once again at the Royal Albert Hall!

No comments: