leave your inhibitions at the door
Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with food or wine…
One of my favorite bands hit the Fillmore Detroit last week and I finally was able to catch their show. I missed out on seeing them twice before. The first was in 2007 when I inexplicably took a year off from Lollapalooza. Not only did I miss out on Snow Patrol, but I also missed and epic performance by Daft Punk. The second was in 2010, when they opened for U2 at Soldier Field in Chicago as our friends had our tickets and didn’t get to the concert in time. I wasn’t going to miss out this time.
The band’s from Northern Ireland and has been around since the mid-90’s but they didn’t hit it big until 2003 with the album Final Straw. The first hit from the album is still my favorite song of theirs –
Most people know of them from their 2006 megahit “Chasing Cars”, which was used in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. (Note: Over the history of this blog, I’ve admitted to some really embarrassing favorite shows and movies –Gilmore Girls and Princess Diaries 2 probably topping that list. But I can proudly say I’ve never seen Grey’s.)
Here’s a clip I took at the concert of Chasing Cars –
It was a terrific concert. The band sounded great and lead singer Gary Lightbody tried really hard to keep the crowd engaged. Perhaps too hard as seen by the audience singalongs and obvious replacement of city names in the songs with “Detroit”. All of that wasn’t really necessary as the band’s songs are the real show.
There was always been something about their music beyond what was recorded that I love, however I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was until I saw them last week. About halfway through the show it struck me that their music has a strong theatrical element to it. It wasn’t that there was a beautiful light show or amazing video clips – those were pretty standard. And they didn’t have a cheesy prog rock narrative.
What gives their music that sense of theater are the sweeping melodies and passionate lyrics. Together, they give their songs a sense of urgency, feeling, and emotional center. All of these things are exactly what I didn’t get out of seeing Ghost The Musical. I honestly think that if they were so inclined and were matched with the right book, their music could be on Broadway.
Here’s the clip from the final song of the evening, 2007’s “Open Your Eyes” –