YOU SHOULD have been there when Irish alt-rock band Snow Patrol sang its iconic song Chasing Cars at its one-night-only stripped-down, intimate performance at KL Live last Thursday night.
Watching Snow Patrol perform Chasing Cars is one of life’s highlights I will never forget.
The band was down here for the Snow Patrol Live & Acoustic in Kuala Lumpur, presented by Good Vibes – part of U Mobile’s Unlimited Grooves initiative – and Heineken Live Your Music.
Malaysian fans were indeed lucky to catch the band’s debut here as lead guitarist and vocalist Gary Lightbody was nursing a throat and chest infection.
He started the night by thanking everyone for coming out to support the band on its very first time in Kuala Lumpur before launching into Snow Patrol’s newer tracks like Empress and This Isn’t Everything You Are from its 2011 album Fallen Empires.
But midway through the concert, the Called Out in the Dark singer revealed that he was under the weather since Snow Patrol’s Aug 27 show in Thailand, where it “went really downhill”.
Apologising for his raspy voice (to the previously unassuming audience), Lightbody said: “Anybody that’s heard our music before knows that I don’t normally sound like this,” and informed the crowd that he had to pay the doctors a visit that day.
The singer added: “He told me that I have a throat infection and a chest infection,” at which point a fan in the crowd to my back let out a loud: “Whaaat?” in disbelief.
Lightbody continued: “And I didn’t want to cancel the gig tonight so, I’m going to do as much as I can, but at this point, it’s really not sounding great, so if you can sing along with everything that you know, it will really help.
“I really don’t want to burn your ears out,” the singer added, before the same audience member shouted out: “You sound great!”
The band’s Malaysian debut also saw only Lightbody and Nathan Connolly (guitar and backing vocals) present, minus other band members Johnny McDaid (piano and guitar), Paul Wilson (bass) and Jonny Quinn (drums).
Opening as a solo set for the duo that night was Belfast-based Ryan McMullan, who was filling in for McDaid for the band’s three shows in Asia – Bangkok, Singapore, and Malaysia. McDaid is currently recovering from neurosurgery caused by neck problems.
“Before the start of this tour, Ryan had to learn 17 Snow Patrol songs in a week,” said Lightbody to a cheering response from the crowd.
“Depending on what you think of Snow Patrol, that’s either a punishment or a pleasure,” he quipped before adding: “And he’s been an absolute legend on this tour.”
Despite feeling unwell, Lightbody was still amazing, maintaining a lovely stage energy throughout with Connolly and McDaid.
From Just Say Yes, Run, and Called Out in the Dark to newer tracks like What If This is All the Love You Ever Get? from its 2018 album Wildness, Snow Patrol gave a night filled with nostalgia and hope.
However, the concert must have taken its toll because the morning after the show, the band posted on its social media that its gig in Jakarta and Singapore would have to be cancelled.
Lightbody wrote: “I hate cancelling shows and wouldn’t do it unless there was no other option. I need to rest for a few weeks. We will come back to both places when we have a new album I promise. Love to you all. So sorry for not being able to play.”