When Snow Patrol come to town, you always know you're in for something special. Throw in the "exclusivity" of an event like the Debit Mastercard series and indeed you have something truly unmissable. Tonight Snow Patrol fans were treated to a "stripped down" version of the band, performing as a three piece as they played through a total of eight tracks - 5 old, 2 new and 1 cover - in the intimate surrounds of Sydney's The Standard.
Kicking off the set by embracing a cheery lass in the front row, Gary Lightbody set the tone for the evening: a rather warm embrace with some "acoustic"-ish performances and old friends. It opened up with "Dark Roman Wine", a track featured as an unreleased number on their 2009 greatest hits release Up To Now, with just Gary and his organ/keyboard player. The bass made its way into the fold for "Open Your Eyes", and the three piece ran through another four tracks, "Chasing Cars", "Run", "Life-ning" off the new record Fallen Empires (which he dedicated to his father: "the greatest man I've ever known") and a cover of "You Shook Me All Night Long", which he called his favourite Aussie song of all time, by his favourite Australian band of all time. Good taste, no?
A brief Q&A followed which saw Gary answer questions from the internets and crowd. We learnt that his favourite band out of Sydney at the moment was "Howling Bells, all the way", that V Festival in Australia in 2009 was a career highlight (particularly as they were playing alongside best mates Elbow), that he'd be addicted to drugs and missing his teeth if he wasn't a musician and that "Called Out In The Dark" is his favourite Snow Patrol video clip, which "is an easy choice, because we don't have all that mean great video clips".
Insights over, he then played "Called Out In The Dark" and finished things off with the beautiful "You're All I Have".
It was a short but sweet set which saw the renowned Irish band playing in an all-too-rarely seen intimate setting. They will take their brief "stripped back" acoustic tour to Melbourne's Regent Theatre on September 30th, before returning to Sydney to play the State Theatre on October 1st. Tonight's performance, meanwhile, will be screened as part of the Take 40 Live Lounge series in the not-too-distant future.
Photos by Jakob de Zwart