It’s been 7 years since Snow Patrol toured the U.S. During that time, the band was busy working on new music. That new music is finally here and Snow Patrol is back on the road!
Snow Patrol’s dedicated fan base has been waiting for their return and was out in full force Saturday night at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA. While I like Snow Patrol, I’m not a big enough fan to have bought tickets when they went on sale. However, I had my eye on the show and started checking around to see if I could catch a good deal to get some seats for the show.
By Saturday evening, I still hadn’t made a final decision on going to the show. But, low and behold, a pair of decent tickets popped up at a really reasonable price, so off we went! You know my mantra – #justbuythetickets!
After Snow Patrol was away for so long, were their fans happy with the show? As a casual fan, was the show worth my last minute ticket purchase? Keep reading to find out!
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THE VENUE – THE TOWER THEATER
The Tower Theater is a Philadelphia area institution for live music. Located in Upper Darby, PA – just minutes from the Philadelphia city limits – a number of legendary acts have played at this venue.
For more information about The Tower Theater, as well as some of my tips for visiting the venue, click here:
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ryan McMullan is a young singer/songwriter from a small town in Northern Ireland called Portaferry. McMullan is not currently signed with a record label, so he’s out there trying to make his own music and get it listened to.
McMullan took the stage at the 8:00 p.m. advertised start time. He started off his set at the keyboard and was accompanied by a drummer. McMullan apologized to the audience right away, as he said he woke up that morning “sick as a dog”.
I really loved McMullan’s voice. You could definitely tell that he was struggling to get through the songs, but the strength of his voice pulled him through.
I’ve mentioned this before when I write about singer/songwriters, but there are so many of them out there, that I think it’s really difficult for them to differentiate themselves and have commercial success. McMullan definitely has the voice and the talent to do that.
If McMullan was sick during Saturday night’s show, I’d love to see him again when he’s feeling better and his voice is at 100%. McMullan is out on the road supporting Snow Patrol on their current tour. You can learn more about him and find out about upcoming show dates on his website.
WE ARE SCIENTISTS
ABOUT THE ARTIST
We Are Scientists formed in California in 2000, and is currently based out of New York City. The band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Keith Murray and bass guitarist Chris Cain.
The guys met in college in 1997 and quickly became friends. However, the idea of forming a band didn’t happen until after graduation in 2000. The band moved to New York in 2001 and began recording their first album – Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order) – on their own label. After some hiccups, the album was finally released in June of 2002.
In January of 2005, We Are Scientists began recording their second album – With Love and Squalor. They also decided to sign a record deal with Virgin Records to help with the distribution of the album. The album and record deal led to some breakthrough success, as the album sold 100,000 copies in the first six months of its release.
Following their second album, We Are Scientists went through some personnel changes. In 2007, they started recording their third album – Brain Thrust Mastery. It was released on the EMI label in 2008.
By the release of their next album – Barbara – the band was recording on their own record label. After the release of the album, We Are Scientists also fired their management team. When they released TV en Francais in 2014, they had yet again signed a record deal, this time with 100% Records.
We Are Scientists took the stage around 8:45 p.m. I can use one word to describe these guys – CRAZY! The band reminds me a lot of an old school 1970’s punk band, but with a lot more musicality to their songs.
They kicked off their set with four high energy songs, before slowing it down for “KIT”. In fact, Murray told the audience that they were going to be doing a slower song, so it would be weird for people to stand up. He did suggest everyone sway – even if it was in their seats. As you’ll see in my video, the woman two rows in front of me took Murray’s request to heart!
We Are Scientists are a ton of fun! I’d love to see them in a smaller venue like The Foundry or Union Transfer as a headliner. You can catch them on the road throughout the rest of Snow Patrol’s tour. Check out their website for more information.
Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Your Light Has Changed, The Great Escape, Buckle, Nobody Move/Nobody Get Hurt, KIT, One In, One Out, After Hours, No Wait At Five Leaves
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Snow Patrol formed in 1994 and originates from Northern Ireland. The current line up features Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar), Nathan Connolly (guitar, back-up vocals), Paul Wilson (bass guitar, back-up vocals), Johnny Quinn (drums) and Johnny McDaid (piano, guitar, back-up vocals).
Over the band’s long history, they’ve seen everything from line up changes, to commercial success, to a long gap in new music and touring.
Snow Patrol’s debut album – Songs for Polarbears – was released back in 1998. While critics loved the album, it never gained any commercial success. The same happened with their second album – When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up. Undeterred, Snow Patrol decided to start touring harder to try and build their fan base.
In 2004, Snow Patrol released their next album – Final Straw. By that time, the band had signed with Black Lion – a subsidiary of Polydor Records. While record sales weren’t huge, it did lead to them opening for U2 on their Vertigo tour, which suddenly gave Snow Patrol huge exposure to a massive audience.
By the end of 2005, Snow Patrol had finished recording Eyes Open. The album contained a song called “Chasing Cars”, which appeared on an episode of the hit television series “Grey’s Anatomy”. The song was finally the break that Snow Patrol was looking for. Taking advantage of their new found success, the band released A Hundred Million Suns in 2008. They continued to tour as openers for big bands like Oasis and Coldplay.
Snow Patrol’s sixth album – Fallen Empires – saw the band go in a whole new musical direction. It was around this time that the band added Johnny McDaid as a full-time member.
After the tour supporting Fallen Empires, the band disappeared. Reportedly, lead singer and main songwriter Gary Lightbody had writer’s block, and they just couldn’t get new material written and recorded. Finally, Snow Patrol released Wildness in May of 2018 and have now returned to the road to promote that album.
Snow Patrol took the stage around 9:30 p.m. The crowd was welcomed by a big sign on the video screen saying hello to Philadelphia. The band opened with their hit “Take Back The City” and then went into “Chocolate”.
Having never seen Snow Patrol live and being familiar with only a few of their songs, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
First, their use of lighting effects and videos on the screen behind them was very effective. It definitely added a lot to the show.
Second, Snow Patrol is made up of very talented musicians. I always judge the talent of a band by whether or not their live performance sounds as good as their studio stuff. Snow Patrol can definitely hold their own live. I particularly loved the vocal harmonies between Lightbody, Connolly and McDaid.
Snow Patrol also did a good job of putting together a solid set list. As we were leaving the venue, I did hear a complaint that “Shut Your Eyes” was on the original set list and got cut. Instead, they added “Dark Roman Wine” with just Lightbody and McDaid on stage. I have to agree that it seemed like a bad trade off. When Lightbody introduced “Dark Roman Wine”, he said it was something that was requested a lot and they didn’t play often. I’m sure they made a select few fans happy, but not the vast majority in attendance.
Luckily, we did get “Chasing Cars” towards the end of the show. Personally, I would have been pretty upset if they would have skipped that one. All in all, it was a solid show. While I’m glad I found cheap tickets last minute rather than paying full price, I did get my money’s worth.
Snow Patrol is playing in North America through the end of May before heading to Europe. A number of their remaining shows are already sold out, so check their website for more information. The good news is that Lighbody promised that it wouldn’t be seven years again before they were back, so keep your fingers crossed Snow Patrol fans!
Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Take Back The City, Chocolate, Crack The Shutters, Empress, Don’t Give In, Open Your Eyes, Run, Life On Earth, Make This Go On Forever, Dark Roman Wine, Called Out In The Dark, Heal Me, The Lightning Strike, Chasing Cars, You’re All I Have Encore: What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?, Just Say Yes
Are you a Snow Patrol fan? Are you happy to see them back after their seven year hiatus? Let us know. Please comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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