Snow Patrol bring back feel-good factor to last park concert


MUD, MUD, mud, mud, mud. If you were a seasoned festival-goer you just kicked off your Jimmy Choo’s and got on with it; if it was your first time in a mud bath you would have found conditions to be near intolerable.

Such was the scene at the Phoenix Park last night as Northern Irish band Snow Patrol attracted 45,000 for the last of a series of three shows at the beautifully done-up venue.

Following a number of incidents at the Swedish House Mafia show in the Park on Saturday night there were pronounced security precautions last night with everyone entering the concert site being subjected to a body frisk and having the contents of their bags examined.

The large crowd enjoyed a series of acts from mid-afternoon onwards. With the concert organisers continually laying down hay to soak up the mud, everyone was watching their footing in the treacherous conditions – particularly when carrying trays of drinks.

It was clear from the reaction to Florence and The Machine’s arrival at stage shortly after 7pm that many people had come to see her. A fantastically eccentric live performer – with a huge Irish following – she put in a great performance.

By the time Snow Patrol were due on stage, the crowd had become slightly more acclimatised to the adverse conditions. Wisely, the majority of people had arrived wearing their best Wellingtons which did give the odd impression that it was a National Ploughing Championships event and not a rock gig.

Snow Patrol, who struggled to sell any records with their first two albums, hit commercial pay dirt with two massively successful releases in Final Straw (2003) and Eyes Open (2006) which delivered the breakthrough singles Run and Chasing Cars.

Now in a select group of bands who have sold over 10 million albums (they are the second biggest selling Irish rock band after U2) they demonstrated last night just how to connect with an audience with songs that have a pan-generational appeal and are exquisitely crafted pop moments.

As their music floated over the Phoenix Park, they engendered a most welcome feel-good factor and helped 45,000 people forget about the mud and the cold.

Lead singer Gary Lightbody seemed intent on proving – after Saturday night’s disorder – that it was all about people gathering on a summer evening to enjoy great music. And in that he succeeded admirably.