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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
  Snow Patrol @ the Pavilion, 8.15

for all the noise i have made about their latest effort Eyes Open, and for all the moaning and groaning i did about having to trek to the seaport district, and for all the self-psyching-out i managed in thinking the show would suck -

um, okay. they were really damn good.

as we stood for the arriving performers, we rapidly climbed an emotional ladder from skeptical (bottom rung, caked with dirt from our shoes) to intrigued (somewhere towards the middle, four rungs up) to god damn excited (rung with the gold plate on it, company name, clean for its height). i believe that three-fourths of the reason why was their absolute elation at being there. chatty Gary Lightbody gradually gave away that this was their biggest US gig, and coupled with their having to cancel the previous days' shows in Portland and Seattle (read) - we were the lucky ones to receive the wave of relief at being back onstage. i must say too that we were quite a crowd; i never thought i'd see such diehard fans as those in the front rows with an Irish flag (photo) and an Earth balloon being passed around. i had flashbacks from Lollapalooza.

enough of that! though his demeanor was infectiously positive and the crowd's enthusiasm was overwhelming, the music itself was shockingly handsome. i do mean it; it was polished, perfected, adored, and thankfully delivered - a charming irishman of audible display. Gary worked the crowd as unassumingly and sweetly as any half-wallflower, half-mirror jammer could possibly be, and we loved every minute of it.

they opened with Spitting Games, one of my very favorite tracks from Final Straw. this had them off to an immediately great start. but the fact that they waited about three or four songs to launch into their latest work had me rebuilding my belief in their capability as a band. their set flowed so well, and all of the fluff pop songs we thought we hated from the newest album were integrated into their older material in such a way that i turned to alex and said, "I think we have to give that album another try." and if there's anything a showman tries to do successfully, it's convince you of his work; those irishmen totally won me over (with a name like Shannon, i suppose no one has to wonder why).

yeah yeah yeah, just get to the photos already:
[full flickr set]

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