Leeds has waited a long time for Irish stars Snow Patrol to make their return to the city and, when frontman Gary Lightbody recalls an early visit joking “we played at Joseph’s Well to a crowd of one person”, you get the impression that the band have been waiting to come back as much as these same fans who packed out the Arena tonight.
As the band are keen to show throughout their performance on this, unbelievably, their first appearance at the First Direct Arena, they’ve come a long way since playing to less people than band members at fleapits like the Joseph’s Well. However, they’re still the same unassuming Irish lads who hit the big time with their smash single “Run” taken from their 2004 album Final Straw. In fact, they’re so far removed from the dictionary definition of the word rockstar that frontman Lightbody even jokes about being refused access by security to the side stage at his own gig to watch support act Kodaline earlier in the evening after forgetting his pass. “A friend once asked me what is was like to be famous,” laughed the frontman before adding “I don’t fucking know, I’m not even recognised at my own gig.”
That might be the case but there is no getting away from the fact that this crowd love the Irish lads who, in return, treat them to an absolutely staggering Arena show. Stunning visuals fill the entire back line as the band plunder their impressive back catalogue to produce a truly career-spanning set. The big hits are wheeled out by the band with the likes of “Run” and “Chasing Cars” seeing the frontman almost drowned out by the crowd while “Chocolate”, “Open Your Eyes” and “Lifening” are slick, polished slice of pop rock. They may have taken seven years to write their new album Wilderness, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Lightbody who jokingly admits that it took the Beatles the same amount of time to change the face of music. However, as with the wait for the album, their return to Leeds was well worth it but I’m sure I’m not the only one who left hoping that they don’t leave it as long next time!
Check out the video for “Run”, the hit song that started it all for Snow Patrol.