A singer-songwriter with some of the same emotional and Irish flair as the show’s headliner, Ryan McMullan began the night with just his voice and a piano, joined soon after by his drummer Paul Hamilton. With equal skill, McMullan soon transitioned to the guitar to finish off the twenty-minute set.
Even amongst the noisy crowd that was clearly there only to see Snow Patrol, Billie Marten shone angelic and brilliant on a stage that almost felt too expansive and dark for her timid demeanor and intimate melodies. Just like McMullan, Marten was humble and grateful as she thanked Snow Patrol and asked the audience to buy her last few CDs before heading home to the United Kingdom. Her performance was sweet and refreshing, if only a bit diluted by a crowd that, while there was the occasional singing-along fan, felt it more important to chat then experience her performance. Her latest album. released this April, is called Feeding Seahorses by Hand. I recommend you listen.
To a crowd of raised hands and eager faces, Snow Patrol walked onto the stage with the kind of confidence only a band that’s just sold out The Wiltern can muster. But there were humble moments as well, like lead singer Gary Lightbody’s rapport with the audience—starting off one song, he remarked with a laugh “I hit the wrong note,” and then proceeded to wonder “If I keep talking about this, will you guys remember it more or less?” Being the end of their North America tour, Snow Patrol also dedicated a song to their two openers (“they’re the next generation—listen to them!”). Playing tracks from older albums like “Eyes Open” and their most recent album “Wildness,” Snow Patrol ended the pre-encore set with, of course, “Chasing Cars.”