Snow Patrol serenade Northern Ireland squad at homecoming show

Gary Lightbody and co wrap up tour with 'emotional' Belfast gig

Snow Patrol closed their UK and Irish arena tour in rapturous fashion with a homecoming show in Belfast last night (March 23).

The band rounded off a four-night stand at the city’s 9,000-capacity Odyssey Arena with a hit-laden set in front of an audience that contained most of Northern Ireland’s football team.

Frontman Gary Lightbody, who moved back to his home city from Glasgow three years ago, had personally invited the squad.

Clearly the occasion got to the singer, who appeared overwhelmed by the response from his home crowd throughout the show.

After missing a cue for ‘You Could Be Happy’, Lightbody confessed: “I haven’t been the most professional tonight, and that’s because I’m a little overwhelmed.”

He later dedicated ‘Chasing Cars’ to the band’s families, all present at the arena, for supporting the band through their early lean years, in the hope that “there may be a day, or indeed four days, like this”.

Snow Patrol had shown solidarity with their heritage by booking only Northern Irish bands as support, with Duke Special and former bandmate Iain Archer warming up the crowd for the final show.

Midway through the show, Lightbody extended his acoustic segment in response to a banner in the audience that read “Please play ‘Olive Grove’ for Frances“.

Admitting that he was not sure how to still play the song, ‘An Olive Grove Facing The Sea’ from 2001 album ‘When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up’, he ad-libbed most of the song, before played an acoustic cover of ‘Teenage Kicks’ by fellow Northern Irishmen The Undertones.

He then began an acoustic rendition of smash hit ‘Run’, before the rest of band joined him midway through to close the track in epic style.

Singer Miriam Kaufman joined the band onstage to sing Martha Wainwright‘s part on ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’, while Belle & Sebastian‘s Richard Colburn also featured in the touring band.

The show’s penultimate song was a full rendition of the epic three-part new album closer ‘The Lightning Strike’. It was illustrated by a giant animation on a screens that was based around the artwork for the group’s current album ‘A Hundred Million Suns’.

The psychedelic animation began and ended with the star logo from the album cover, taking in abstract animation sequences depicting the sun, then outer space, before moving down to Earth and later underwater. They then closed with 2006 hit single You’re All I Have’.

Snow Patrol played:

‘If There’s A Rocket, Tie Me To It’
‘Chocolate’
‘Hands Open’
‘Spitting Games’
‘How To Be Dead’
‘Golden Floor’
‘You Could Be Happy’
‘Olive Grove’
‘Teenage Kicks’
‘Run’
‘Make This Go On Forever’
‘Shut Your Eyes’
‘Chasing Cars’
‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’
‘Crack The Shutters’
‘Take Back The City’
‘Open Your Eyes’
‘The Lightning Strike’
‘You’re All I Have’