Snow Patrol @ Terminal 5, 4/13/12

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Just a few months since their sixth album landed stateside, Snow Patrol stormed the stage at Terminal 5 for the first of two sold out shows. Frontman Gary Lightbody stated that the band had played in New York City more than any other American town, and judging by the energy the crowd threw at the band, he wasn’t exaggerating when he said this evening was the band’s best NYC show yet.

First up on the stage was Ed Sheeran, an English singer/songwriter who has already established a diehard young fanbase. Beatlemania seemed to claim teen victims galore as fans screamed, danced, and sang their way through Sheeran’s brief set. Armed with only a small acoustic guitar, two mics, and some pedals, Sheeran pushed his way through his set flawlessly in spite of battling the flu. From touching ballads to 50 Cent covers, this talented 21-year-old crashed seamlessly through genres and will be claiming our shores as his own very soon.

The crowd’s enthusiasm only grew when Snow Patrol took to the stage. The Northern Irish/Scottish rockers brought a cracking good performance that was punctuated by humor and humble gratitude. Lightbody proved himself an entertaining frontman, whether he was salaciously touching the chests of his bandmates or remarking that he felt “just like Kate Bush” when a scarf was thrown upon the stage. The set was heavily skewed towards Eyes Open, the record which contains the chart topping single “Chasing Cars,” but the band demonstrated that their live performance contains more energy and heart than could be captured in a studio. The audience also helped with the entertainment with deafening singalongs on “Shut Your Eyes” and new outros for “This Isn’t Everything You Are” and “Chasing Cars.” From Fallen Empires, the band’s latest album, “New York” prompted a warm response from its namesake city, and “Fallen Empires” proved to be a frenetic highlight live, complete with three drummers and plenty of flashing lights. After the encore break, the band returned with massive grins and a sweet speech about the important things in life before playing the fragile acoustic tune “Lifening.”

It’s difficult to comment on one song over another because the band’s set was so solid. A couple of lyrics were flubbed, but such moments are what live music is all about. Snow Patrol may not be that “Chasing Cars” band anymore, but what they are is so much better. They’re a group of men who do whatever’s necessary to make sure that an audience will sing, laugh, dance, interact and feel every last ounce of energy they have to give.

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