Ever since Wildnesscame out in May 2018, I had been waiting for Snow Patrol to release tour dates. During the concert, lead singer, Gary Lightbody, charged himself as guilty for having taken so long to work on the album: a total of 7 years to come back to the U.S. Just to give you an idea of how long he took in mastering each one of their songs, “Life on Earth” took 5 years to finish. Let that sink in. The wait was totally worth it, and the concert was nothing short of amazing.
This was the first American tour for the first opener, singer-songwriter, Ryan McMullan, whose beautiful voice wasn’t the only thing that stood out during his performance, but also his fun personality. He interacted with the audience and asked us to learn a couple of stanzas “But in the back of my mind I know / I’m gonna get over you” and although half of us forgot the second line, he laughed about it and gave us a second chance -we did much better. McMullan’s first song from the set started with him at the piano, and then his drummer joined him halfway into “This Could be Love”. I had not listened to him before, but I’m glad I got to see him live, because his voice is simply angelic. Songs from his set include “A Winter’s Coat” and “Bowie on the Radio” go check them out!
The second opening band was We Are Scientists, who are more of an indie rock band. They started their set with “Your light has changed” and ironically enough, the lights that had remained consistent for McMullan, changed a lot during this song to match its rhythm. The band was super energetic throughout their set, interacted with the audience and looked like they were genuinely enjoying performing for us. They joked that the first 4 songs made them look like barbarians, so they sang “KIT” to change what we thought about them. The U.S. band told the audience a couple stories from the times they’ve been in Austin, like when they first met Snow Patrol in 2006 at SXSW. Songs from their set include “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” “One In, One Out” “After Hours” and “No wait at Five Leaves.”
Before Snow Patrol came out, they put on a projection that said, “Hello Austin” and that alone made the audience go wild. The band began their set with “Take Back the City” and played some of their biggest older hits, such as “Run” (which they dedicated to Ryan McMullan and We Are Scientists) and “Chasing Cars” which was honestly something I was really looking forward to. Gary had a minor cold but that didn’t stop him from reaching those high notes in “Don’t Give In” which made me admire him even more. I really enjoyed how the band organically reacted to the audience, in a couple of the songs when Gary’s voice cracked, the audience took over the chorus and Gary smiled because it was impromptu. I enjoyed that not all of the songs had projections in the back and relied more on lighting and vice versa; my favorite projection was the satellite views of Earth in “Life on Earth.” However, I loved how for “Open Your Eyes” they combined both and made both the projection and the lights flicker to the beat. This particular concert felt pretty special because they sang “The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends?)” a song they may or may not have played in America before, according to the band. The encore was absolutely beautiful, Gary came back with Johnny McDaid to perform “What if this is All the Love You Ever Get?” and then the rest of the band members came back on stage for the last song of the night “Just Say Yes.”
Thank you, Snow Patrol, I saw a garden burst into life at the ACL Live. This concert was worth the wait, but please don’t take as long to come back.
Ryan McMullan:1. This Could Be Love 2. You Don’t Dance 3. A winter’s Coat 4. Bowie on the Radio 5. In the Back of My Mind 6. Oh Susannah
We are Scientists:1. Your Light Has Changed 2. The Great Escape 3. Buckle 4. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt 5. KIT 6. One In, One Out 7. After Hours 8. No Wait at Five Leaves
Snow Patrol:1. Take Back the City 2. Chocolate 3. Crack the Shutters 4. Empress 5. Don’t Give In 6. This Isn’t Everything You Are 7. Open Your Eyes 8. Run 9. Life on Earth 10. Make This Go on Forever 11. Shut Your Eyes 12. Called Out in the Dark 13. Heal Me 14. The Lightning Strike (What If This Storm Ends?) 15. Chasing Cars 16. You’re All I Have ENCORE: 17. What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get? 18. Just Say Yes