Friday Night: Snow Patrol & High Flying Birds at Bayou Music Center

Snow Patrol, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Bayou Music Center November 9, 2012

Snow Patrol never quite landed on my musical radar. I've heard a few of their songs on the radio - you couldn't escape "Chasing Cars" in 2007 -- but nothing really stuck in my head or made me want to buy an album. Friday night, at Bayou Music Center, my mind changed.

On the final stop of their current tour, Snow Patrol kept fans screaming and chanting along in unison, as the band paid reverence to our city with a light show and a solid performance. What surprised me were the songs I hadn't heard before... Which were most of them.

"Chasing Cars" and "Run" aren't bad songs, but they also aren't really representative of the band's catalogue, which is actually pretty rockin'.

There were no effects on vocalist Gary Lighbody's voice, either -- no delay, no reverb, and no Autotune. He just sang particularly well, and the rest of the band kept pace with him. Having listened to a few of their songs online since the show, I think it's safe to say that their live performance is even better than their recordings.

Lightbody told the crowd that, earlier in the day, while jet-skiing, the band's tour manager had been in an accident, injuring his leg. They had spent all day with him at the hospital in Austin, but had to leave to come perform in Houston. About an hour before the show, he called them to say that the surgery had gone well and he was doing just fine.

"It's a very strange feeling to be up here, without him standing on the sidelines," Lightbody said. "So I'd like to dedicate this song to him." And with that, the band played "This Isn't Everything You Are," the chorus of which is the refrain, "Don't keel over now."

Before Snow Patrol, the characteristically ill-tempered Noel Gallagher put on a stellar performance as front man of High Flying Birds, focusing on the band's 2011 self-titled debut album and his solo material. The band performed a few Oasis hits, including "Supersonic," "Talk Tonight" and "Don't Look Back in Anger," but despite the incessant pleading of an eager fan in the front row, Gallagher did not perform "Wonderwall."

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Throughout the show, he and this fan had a running dialogue. At one point during the set, Gallagher even said, "No, it's not my best song. This is my best song," before breaking into "AKA... What a Life." The banter reached a peak when the British songwriter told the fan, point blank, that he had no intention of playing the song.

"I played it last night, and it was brilliant," he said. "Unfortunately for you, I'm not going to play it tonight. Do you know why? Because I don't give a fuck."

Glad to see that Noel hasn't lost his spark.

Personal Bias: Came for HFB and left with a newfound appreciation for Snow Patrol.

Overheard In the Crowd: "These guys suck!" "Then why'd you buy a ticket?"

Random Notebook Dump: I have this vivid memory of sitting in a Japanese restaurant/karaoke bar, watching some poor, drunk man's failed attempt to sing "Chasing Cars." The words were drowned out by the sounds of his sobbing. No matter how hard I try, I can't shake it.

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