Before I turn this into an open love letter to Singapore, let me just say that – Singapore, at the tender age of forty-seven, you have proved once again to be a melting pot (literally) and a worthy playground for concert-goers from all walks of life. I seem to have formed a love/hate relationship with Fort Canning Park, although I admire LAMC Productions’ staunch support of this venue. This time round though, the dim lights from the building at the top of the hill, to the slope that was packed every inch with people – a more substantial crowd than I remember enduring during SINGfest – turned out to be a stunning setting for Snow Patrol’s first ever gig in Singapore.
The first song of the night Hands Open, had Gary Lightbody singing that Singapore “just bursts to life”. That is precisely what happened on that very Monday. For less than two short hours, there was a firework of songs that snowed over an audience of 7,000 people. Despite soaring vocals and out of the world visuals, it felt more like a grounded gig where life anecdotes were being delivered to you by a self professed raconteur.
I was pleasantly surprised by the scale of the production team involved in this Fallen Empires Tour. From seven large vertical screens that seem to display spot on visuals of eagles (the pretty obvious theme) and even faces of the audience, to an additional three musicians on top of the five members in Snow Patrol. You would expect the songs to be drowned in the sound of so many instruments but that was certainly not the case. The title track from their latest album, Fallen Empires, in particular, was oddly hypnotic. All eight musicians on stage had various roles using various instruments which included the djembe. I’ve always had the assumption that minimal instruments were used for Snow Patrol songs, but after watching each of these musicians, I now have a full appreciation of the layers of effort they put into their craft.
Mr. Lightbody made plenty of charming remarks (and not so subtle jokes, “This is my hand, it signifies moving up. I am not cupping anything”) which left the audience clapping and laughing along in joy. Despite Gary Lightbody himself slightly scoffing at lyrics of some of his earlier work, occasionally, you may realise that there were stolen instances where you catch him gazing contently at the rainforest trees surrounding the venue. It was easy to be caught up in the moment, for example during Run, the crowd echoed back a chilling rendition of the last chorus.
An international band at its very right, the feisty remix of Berlin set a tone of palpable journey for the sold out crowd to leave the concert in absolute awe. Playing crowd favourites from a healthy selection from four of their previous albums (which included Chocolate, Open Your Eyes, Crack the Shutters and Lifening) it was easy to be in content when Snow Patrol ended the night with an uplifting rendition of Just Say Yes. One cannot help but leave Fort Canning Park with pride for saying yes to be part of such an experience.