A Salve For All That Ails

It had been far too long since I’d seen a show. That’s the way it is sometimes when you have kids, school and a myriad of other things that need your attention. I have to confess that sometimes music takes a back seat in my life. Awful, I know, but it’s true.

In fact, I’d begun to notice that something was very wrong with my soul these last few months. My life just didn’t seem right. Even though I listen to music every day (especially when I run), I wasn’t letting it fully envelop me as I usually do…comfort me more in those times that are extra stressful…and remembering that this is exactly what music should be…a salve for all that ails in totality.

Of course, I knew several months ago when I bought the tickets for the Noel Gallagher-Snow Patrol show last Wednesday night that my musical spirit would be uplifted enormously. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the double bill. A Brit Rock Double Feature…what a treat! Neither band disappointed.

The evening began with Jake Bugg, a very young lad hailing from Nottingham, whose short acoustic set was reminiscient of Lee Mavers. I’d recommend picking up his disc and giving it a chance.

Noel was up next and it was an absolute corker of a set. Mixing Oasis songs with his wonderful new material, Noel showed his god like genius through 14 musical chestnuts. His first solo record, which I reviewed a while back, is so good he could have honestly played the whole thing (as his brother did when he was in town with his new band, Beady Eye) and I wouldn’t have cared. A key ingredient for me in good music is what kind of stories does the artist tell and what is their perception of the world? Noel’s lines up just about perfectly with mine and it is very evident in tracks like “Dream On” and “If I Had A Gun,” both of which were performed flawlessly with that Mancuian magic.

The real treat of the night, in terms of his new record, was “(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine.” As the lyrics washed over me, the irony became very apparent. I was living in a dream about living in dream…

The Oasis tracks were great, of course. The one that really stood out was “Talk Tonight,” originally an acoustic only song, and now a full band number that sounded marvelous. Noel’s set ended with “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (of course), my soul was reset to where it should be and all was well and good with the world again.

But that wasn’t the end!

Throughout Noel’s set i kept thinking about how awesome this was that there was ANOTHER great band going on right after this. Snow Patrol did not disappoint in their 14 song set, mixing old and new songs as lead singer Gary Lightbody darted around the stage like a lanky firefly (man, is he hard to photograph!). They opened with “Hands Open” and it was obvious from the start that the band (as they always go) were going to pour their hearts into every single track.

“Crack the Shutters” was ridiculously awesome. “Run” had everyone singing along with every single word in soft and haunting, almost church like, tone. “Dark Roman Wine” was subbed in for “Make This Go On Forever” which bummed me out at first but the former is a really cool tune. “Chasing Cars” brought me to that romantic place where I can’t tell the difference between loving music and loving love. They closed the night out with “Just Say Yes,” the stand alone single from their 2009 greatest hits package.

As I filed out of the Roy Wilkins Auditorium (a perfect place to see a show, b to the w), I quietly made two promises to myself. First, to never again let music take a back seat to my daily life…allowing it always to continually heal me. Second, never let this long of time go by until my next show. This second promise was easily kept as I am going to see (ahem) BRUCE FUCKING SPRINGSTEEN (general admission tix) in eight days!

Photos of the show.

For tour info on Noel Gallagher-Snow Patrol, click here.