Kansas City’s Beaumont Club had quickly sold out when Snow Patrol was announced as coming to town and the venue was already packed with people scrambling for a good spot well before opener Ed Sheeran started. But when the lone singer with an acoustic guitar humbly took to the stage, one thing was clear. These people had come for one thing and one thing only: Snow Patrol. Sheeran would have his work cut out for him to win this crowd. Fortunately, Sheeran is a one man superstar band.
At first, the back of the crowd continued their chatter, but Sheeran’s charm quickly won the front half of the audience over as he played his guitar with such focused energy that he broke a string just one song into his set. I don’t know if it was improvisation or what the song called for, but Sheeran finished out the song without his guitar, instead relying on the audience for support. Splitting the crowd down the middle, Sheeran assigned each half a vocal part and added his own loops into the mix as he ran around the stage like a mad conductor – and this was all just during the first song. He definitely had the attention of the back of the crowd now. And by the next song, the only chatter over his looping was that of people asking to know his name.
Sheeran’s songs are fun with lots of hooks and transitions. He sings of faith and love, and often of both together. Since he is a looping machine, that meant there were plenty of opportunities for the crowd to join along…at least when the could keep up with him. At times he raps as fast as Matisyahu, but sounds like Jason Mraz during other parts. His set was brief, but considering how much Sheeran got done on his own, he earned an early rest. So though this crowd came with the intention of only listening to Snow Patrol, it is safe to say the all became Sheeran converts.
Snow Patrol has long had Kansas City’s support — local radio stations here were some of the earliest adopters to play “Run” and “Chocolate.” The Coldplay-esque band doesn’t necessarily have the most complex songs, but they know how to write some great anthems with inspirational lyrics. With plenty of hook-filled singles, this band has definitely earned their loyal fan base, and having such loyal fans did make the live show extra fun as the audience was easily able to carry choruses with the band.
Snow Patrol performs with a gleeful energy. Lead singer Gary Lightbody was especially playful this night, smiling wide as he spoke of eating our KC BBQ and seeing our sites. One particular highlight came early in the set when he grabbed an audience member’s phone and began recording a video with it from the stage. I think it’s safe to say he made that kid’s life complete.
While many in the audience were most excited about songs like “Chasing Cars,” the songs that most stood out as spectacular were some of the band’s more unusual tracks like “Set the Fire to the Third Bar,” which has a driving beat and some of the band’s more eerie vocals. My favorite moment of the set was when opener Ed Sheeran came back out to join the band on new single “New York.” The duet was well done, but it was also a heartwarming moment. The singers genuinely seemed to have a blast performing together, embracing each other as they sang.
This was a great night of big drums, lots of guitar solos and dynamic swells. It’s safe to say that Snow Patrol are going to be around for a long time, bringing smiles to the faces of fans. But we all knew that before this show. It was Ed Sheeran who the big surprise of the night, and you can also be sure that he is going to around for a long time, too. But next time, he’ll be headlining and selling out shows of his own.
Snow Patrol Set List:
Take Back the City
Crack the Shutters
This Isn’t Everything You Are
In the End
Set the Fire
Make This Go On Forever
Shut Your Eyes
Called Out in the Dark
You’re All I Have
Open Your Eyes
Just Say Yes