Tag Archives: new york

Snow Patrol takes Manila by storm

10 Aug

Following three days of torrential monsoon rains, Snow Patrol rocked the riffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last August 9 for the Asian wave of their Fallen Empires tour.

Snow Patrol and part of the concert crowd.

With the absence of an opening act, the Irish band got the ball rolling with “Hands Open” from their 2006 album Eyes Open. This was followed by “Take Back the City”, an ode to the grit and grime and glister of the metropolis.

Gary Lightbody flaunted his playful side, jokingly (?) flirting with the Texan guest guitarist in the lead-in to “Crack the Shutters”.  The vocalist mouthed “Is this comfortable?” to the microphone while inching closer and closer to the stringman, much to the amusement of the audience.

The night’s setlist was a steady mix of old favorites and fresh offerings, spanning the last decade of Snow Patrol from Final Straw to Fallen Empire. Spectators rose to their feet and sang along full force to the familiar chords of “Run”, “Shut Your Eyes” and “Chasing Cars”.

While I was a wee bit disappointed that they didn’t play “Signal Fire” from the Spider-Man 3 OST, I remained a giddy, happy child over “Crack the Shutters” and “New York”.

But while many a Snow Patrol song reels of love, loss and everything else in between, the experimental rock visage they have adopted of late – as embodied in Fallen Empires – shines through.

After an electric performance of “Called Into the Dark”, stagehands ushered in numerous conga drums. “This is the part where we get crazy with the drums,” Gary said with a grin before launching into the opening riffs of “Fallen Empires”. I’ve heard it said that some performers are better heard live. After last night, I’m inclined to believe these Irish boys are among the best of such.

The concert was an aural and visual feast, with interactive lighting and a seven-pronged projection screen alternately featuring close-ups of the band and video supplements to their performances.

The stage and projector setup.

A roving camera nestled on a crane effectively limited the chance to get awesome photographs hovered near the stage, documenting the band and the crowd. The footage could apparently end up in the final cut of the Fallen Empires Tour DVD, slated for release in 2013.

Snow Patrol left the stage after “You’re All I Have”, only to return for an encore. “I’d like to offer this song with our deepest respect and deepest sympathies to your country as a healing gesture at this time – to those who have lost their homes and indeed, their lives,” said Gary.

“This song is about my family, and my home, and I can’t think what it would be like if it was taken from me. I’d like to offer this song to all, out of respect to your grace, and your humanity, and your kindness. Thank you all. Thank you all. I’ll never forget this,” he finished, as the strains of “Lifening” wafted over the coliseum.

Snow Patrol ended their Manila rendezvous with the livewire “Just Say Yes” – evoking the vibrancy of a rainbow after the squalor of rains, a welcome respite for a country weathered by storms, meteorological or otherwise.

*****

Snow Patrol Manila Setlist

  1. Hands Open (Eyes Open)
  2. Take Back the City (A Hundred Million Suns)
  3. Crack the Shutters (A Hundred Million Suns)
  4. This Isn’t Everything You Are (Fallen Empires)
  5. Run (Final Straw)
  6. In The End (Fallen Empires)
  7. New York (Fallen Empires)
  8. Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Eyes Open)
  9. Make This Go On Forever (Eyes Open)
  10. Shut Your Eyes (Eyes Open)
  11. Chasing Cars (Eyes Open)
  12. Chocolate (Final Straw)
  13. Called Out In The Dark (Fallen Empires)
  14. Fallen Empires (Fallen Empires)
  15. Open Your Eyes (Eyes Open)
  16. You’re All I Have (Eyes Open)
  17. Lifening (Fallen Empires)
  18. Just Say Yes  (Up to Now)

    Projector screen at the end of the concert.

*****

Thank you very much to PinoyExchange.com for the free tickets! 🙂

A New Year’s resolution in action

22 Dec

Yes, I know January 1 isn’t for ten more days, but the only way I can stick to this New Year’s resolution is if I start early. Have you ever perused your bookshelf and saw a book you no longer recall anything about? Or has a friend ever mentioned this title that you do remember reading, only to end up in the dusty recesses of memory? I have, and it’s something I set out to change this 2011.

Gone be the days of head-scratching upon mention of forgotten reads. And so I’ll scribble my musings in a book journal as I bite, gnaw and digest each literary goodie I sink my eyes into.

"Love, fate, and the number 6 train."

Today, I’m off to a great start with Maynard and Jennica by Rudolph Delson. The price tag on the book cover (this is my one complaint against Booksale. They defile their own merchandise by sometimes writing tally marks on the text blocks, and always sticking the price tag to the front panel. But I digress) reads 05-10-10, which means I must have bought it sometime last May. Lo and behold, I only started reading it on Monday night. It is now Wednesday afternoon and I find myself on page 164 of 300, finished with 3 of its 5 chapters.

Thus far, reading the book has been a blast! It’s not your run-of-the-mill narrative, but a smorgasbord of vignettes that spin together the lives and hearts of Maynard Gogarty and Jennica Green. There are at least 35 different narrators in the book, ranging from the couple to their friends and family, strangers, animals and “one EMERGENCY BRAKE on a certain no. 6 train.”

The titular characters are among the most eccentric I’ve encountered in fiction. But I love them not only because they’re outrageous, but especially because  I see slivers of them in the people I know, and vice versa. That, and the fact that that the story is set in New York (a place that’s quite a character in itself, I have come to understand), where I hope to find myself in the near future, if only for graduate studies.

Maynard is a multi-hyphenated, highfalutin nit-picker,  learned and cultured but socially awkward. Jennica is a California girl with big-city dreams and a penchant for drama, forever hesitant but easily excitable. When these two cross paths in the New York subway, one of them is turned off and they don’t fall in love, naturally. But because a) last time I checked, this is a love story and b) their names are joined in the title (and what could be a more obvious clue than that), they meet again under better circumstances, and fall in love. Naturally.

More than being a fluffy boy-meets-girl with cheese oozing from the edges (which, I must stress, it is not), the plot weaves the stories of two peculiar people through the watchful eyes, nosy ears and wagging tongues of those who watched them grow. More than halfway through the book, I know enough about Maynard and Jennica’s pasts to understand their present, and have informed guesses of where they’re headed in the future. But like any patchwork left unfinished, I won’t rest till this is left unread. And as the threads of Maynard and Jennica get more and more intertwined, the sucker for romance in me wishes that all does not unravel in the end.