Snow Patrol at the Olympia Theatre Dublin, 15 May 2018

It’s been five long years since Snow Patrol have graced an Irish stage and a further two since their ‘Fallen Empires’ release in 2011. Having last played a sold-out show in Phoenix Park, this intimate Irish tour announced ahead of the release of ‘Wildness’ is a significant downsize.

Nevertheless, the Olympia is packed to capacity and the hum and anticipation of just what to expect from Lightbody and co after five years of radio silence is almost tangible.

The five-piece take the stage to a rapturous applause, mix-matched and casual – gone are the days of any ‘image’. Without any introductions or hesitations, they launch themselves in to Open Your Eyes. Warm orange lights are replaced with heavy white strobes for the climax and the audience soaks up just about everything the band is throwing at them, singing back back the melodic chorus with gusto.

Chocolate and Take Back The City follow, build on the explosive energy exuding from the stage. Lightbody takes to the mic to confess “It’s been a while Dublin, sorry about that”, but all is forgiven as the years melt away.

As the setlist moves on, guitars exchange hands systematically leaving Quinn (on drums) as the only member to use one instrument for the entire gig. Recent singles Ember and Don’t Give In feature, but tonight seems to be more of an ‘up to now’ show rather than a ‘Wildness’ one, which is not met with any complaints.

It’s easy to forget how incredibly impressive a back catalogue Snow Patrol possess, giving them the ability to place undeniable show-stoppers such as Run and Chasing Cars casually mid show, something most bands could only dream of.

Lightbody knows just how to appreciate the intimacy of the venue and he is humble and witty in his interludes – there’s no rockstar arrogance to be seen here. He takes the audience along with him right up to the encore and everyone is rooting for them because honestly, he’s just that likeable.

What If This Is All The Love You’ll Ever Get, the third and final offering from ‘Wildness’, winds things down at the beginning of the encore. Lightbody and McDaid delivering a commanding  stripped back performance, before the band return for vigorous send off – Just Say Yes.

Lightbody leaves us with the promise that more Dublin dates are coming soon and it’s no surprise that this is met with enthusiasm by the crowd. A comeback is never easy, but this one seems special. The faint sounds of people humming Chasing Cars is heard all around as the auditorium empties. It may have been a long time coming, but this pre-‘Wildness’ release gift to fans has reminded us all of the band Snow Patrol were, and will be again.

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