Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Snow Patrol at Tennent’s Vital: Rain-lashed crowds soak up the hits

Avicii headlining at Vital in Belfast
Avicii headlining at Vital in Belfast
Avicii headlining at Vital in Belfast
Avicii headlining at Vital in Belfast
Tennent's Vital day 3
Tennent's Vital day 3
Tennent's Vital day 3
Fans Sophie Smyth and Chris Morrison
Tennent's Vital 2013 day 3
Tennent's Vital 2013 day 3: fans Stacey Hannaway, Dominic Taggart
Tinie Tempah performing on stage
Fans Fiona Pursglove, Becky Hamill, Karen Wood
Tennent's Vital 2013 - day 3
Tennent's Vital 2013 - day 3
Tinie Tempah performing on stage
Tinie Tempah performing on stage
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Joanne Bowyere from Atlanta, USA
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Kodaline at Vital in Belfast
Jason Mraz plays at Vital
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Tennent's Vital 2013 fans
Tennent's Vital 2013 fans
Foy Vance playing at Vital in Belfast
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody
Gary Lightbody struts his stuff on the big stage at Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark marlow/pacemaker press
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Gary Lightbody at Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark marlow/pacemaker press
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Alex Gracey and Rachel Irwin enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Gary Lightbody on the big stage at Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark marlow/pacemaker press
Lynne Malcomson, Lucy Barr, Emma Johnston, Victoria Johnston enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Hannah McLaughlin, Morgan VanDyk, Emma McKerr enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Ian Paisley Jnr enjoys Snow Patrol at Tennent's Vital 2013, at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Picture Mark marlow/pacemaker press
Fans Maeve Bond, Edel Doran, Amanda Connolly and Caithlin Connolly enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Jason Mraz plays Tennent's Vital at Boucher Playing Fields on Day 2. Pic Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
The Vaccines play at Tennent's Vital in Belfast on Wednesday the 14th of August 2013.
Paul Fitzsimons and Nicola Fegan enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Kings of Leon headline Day 1 of Tennent's Vital in Belfast
The rain didn't stop the crowd from enjoying Snow Patrol at Tennent's Vital 2013, Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrisons
The Undertones play at Tennent's Vital in Belfast on Wednesday the 14th of August 2013.
Ruth McMullan, Lauren Clarke, Aimee Millar enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Hannah Hamill, Brogan Abram, Zoe Tsang enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Sharon Moore, Majella Hardy (40th birthday), Kerry-Jo Mooney, Susan Hargan enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Kings of Leon headline Vital Festival in Belfast on Wednesday the 14th of August 2013.
Crowds enjoy watching Snow Patrol headline Day 2 of Tennent's Vital 2013 at Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Pic by Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Kings of Leon brought the first night of Tennent's Vital to a close
PSNI Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran with Jazz, a passive Drugs Dog, on duty at the Tennent's Vital Concerts at Boucher Playing Fields over the three nights of the concerts headlined by Kings of Leon , Snow Patrol and Avicii. Brian Little/ Presseye

This is an interesting juncture in the life of Snow Patrol. It's now almost a decade since they made the transition from indie rock also-rans to globe-straddling superstars — back in 2002 they played an earlier incarnation of Tennent’s Vital near the bottom of the bill.

Since then, of course, much has happened — a major label deal, Run rocketing up the singles charts, a string of massive-selling albums, a Transformers theme song and regular victory laps back home — including two cracks at Ward Park, Bangor.

Last night's show was very much in the same mould, a generous gift for the band's ever loyal home fans, given that this was Snow Patrol's only concert anywhere in the world in 2013.

“We weren't going to do any, but we were offered this and said ‘yes’ straight away,” said Gary Lightbody from the stage.

Sure enough, the faithful were out in force, wellies on their feet and rain gear ready for those almighty black clouds hanging over Black Mountain.

And right on time, they shed their mighty load.

But the intrigue came from the fact that the band didn’t have any new music to promote. Their last album, 2011's Fallen Empires, was met with a muted response, while the decision to release this year's Greatest Hits seemed odd, coming a mere four years after the career-spanning Up To Now.

Could it be that these standard bearers of Northern Irish rock are on the wane?

Well, yes and no. Last night's set was light on latter-day material, understandably leaning heavily on the band's most successful albums, Final Straw and Eyes Open.

But despite the teeming rain, band and crowd each played their parts to perfection. Hands Open and Take Back The City —”This one's for you, Belfast!” shouted Gary, giddy as ever in front of a home crowd — was a strong opening salvo, while Run — though aired surprisingly early — still had the power to move, 10 years on.

There was something of a sop to longtime fans with How To Be Dead and Spitting Games, but anyone who hoped for the really old stuff was left disappointed. Then again, Snow Patrol dispensed with the indie kids years ago.

Later attempts at experimentation have largely been unsuccessful, but the band know that they are on safe ground with grand festival anthems like Chasing Cars and Open Your Eyes. They were greeted like old friends, and the faithful left soaking wet, but satisfied.

Chris Jones

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