Scottish rockers brave altitude, technical glitches to deliver killer set
Nature, technology and politics all seemed to conspire against Snow Patrol Friday night as they tried to bring their moody, romantic brand of rock to Denver. It's a credit to the Irish-Scottish group, then, that they were able to put on as great a show as they did.
"Is it fucked?" singer-guitarist Gary Lightbody asked the crowd after his bass player limped through the group's opening song with an obviously broken guitar. "It sounded fucked."
Amid promises from Lightbody that the band would return and "pretend this never happened," Snow Patrol left the stage for a solid five minutes before picking up more or less where they left off. A lengthy stream of hits delivered with album-perfect precision ("Chasing Cars" and "Signal Fire," among others) reminded the crowd why they'd come and soon everyone had forgotten about the massing cold front that whipped into the Fillmore every time someone opened a door.
Then Lightbody dedicated a song to U.S. President Barack Obama in honor of his recent Nobel Peace Prize win. Most of the crowd cheered, but a vocal minority seated in the bar area took offense and refused to rejoin the party for several songs. Eventually, though, most of them loosened up after Lightbody reminded them that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, had come to have fun.
Lightbody also worried that Denver's mountain air was crushing his "tiny lungs" as he tried to belt out songs in his customary manner. He didn't need to worry, though: Some six songs into the set, Snow Patrol finally locked into a groove on the track "Run," which started with Lightbody singing alone and ended with an all-out romantic rock assault that brought the house down. From then on, the crowd was theirs. No small feat, but all in a day's work for pop's oddest poster boys.