Of all the venues in Melbourne, the Regent Theatre is not a classic when it comes to hosting an alternative indie rock band. Sitting amongst the late baroque décor, you felt you should be waiting see a stage show or musical, not a band that has sold over 10 million albums worldwide. However, as Snow Patrol took to the stage, they made the theatre theirs.
Eccentric front man, Gary Lightbody, drew the audience in with his charm, wit, and flowing locks. Starting with “Did you all know this was going to be an acoustic show? If not, you are allowed to leave now,” following it with a cheeky smile, daring anyone to leave. As he set down a steaming cup of tea, Lightbody explained that Australia was going to be the only place for this intimate acoustic show and that they were hoping to be slightly experimental, a rare treat.
As the band struck up their first chord, you couldn’t help but be captivated by the haunting notes that resonated from Lightbody. He truly does have a spectacular voice. The only thing that took slightly away from his musicality was his awkward and somewhat convulsive dance moves. Yet as the song came to a close, he apologised for his weird dancing, claiming he was subconsciously miming out the words in his head, and only realised he was doing it when it came to the word “sand” and he didn’t quite no how to mime it.
Joined later in the set by the beautiful Clare Bowditch, their duet resonated throughout the Regent, sending shivers up the spines of the audience. With obvious admiration for each other’s talent, Bowditch and Lightbody, sang to the audience with passion, finishing off with a little twirl and a cuddle.
A broken down acoustic version of AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ helped to promote the band’s amazing musicality and ability to make any song truly theirs.
Although it was a beautiful setting mirrored with exceptional talent, it was hard to stay totally focused as many songs do tend to flow into each other. To make sure the audience kept coming back in, Lightbody made great conversation with everyone, at one point speculating that Hugh Jackman might appear topless in one of the balconies. I am truly upset to say his speculation did not result in the appearance of a semi-naked Man from Oz.
Really trying to get everyone enthused, Lightbody constantly asked the audience to get involved, singing along with the chorus and helping with the back up vocals. His absolute enthusiasm and passion for music really showed, and even in a theatre where the crowd is seated throughout, Snow Patrol can still put on a show.
PHOTO GALLERY: Check out all the action from the acoustic gig here!
Review: Hayley ‘SOMF’ Travis
Photos: Kate Welh
Read the review here and see the photos here.