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Snow Patrol in Royal Oak, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Last year was big for Snow Patrol, with its first new album, "Wildness," in seven years and a stadium tour opening for Ed Sheeran.

But this year may be even bigger for the Scottish-Irish modern rock group.

2019 marks 25 years since the quintet formed, starting a run of seven albums, hits such as "Chasing Cars" and sales of more than 16 million records worldwide. After a bit of an unexpected hiatus to allow frontman Gary Lightbody to grapple with substance and mental health issues, Snow Patrol is actively back on duty and looking towards the future even as it celebrates an exceptional past...

Nearly a year after its release, Lightbody, 42, says it's been interesting to see how "Wildness" resonates with Snow Patrol's audience. "It's not just seeing people reacting each night when we play the songs but also people sending me letters -- would you believe actual letters on pen and paper? That still happens -- about what this album means to them. That says a lot; It means a lot to me it's had an impact. It wasn't a surprise to me that people went through the same things as I went through -- I think it's more of a surprise that it isn't a surprise, you know?"

Lightbody says the seven-year gap between albums "felt interminable" at the time but feel away once "Wildness" was out and the group was playing live again. "We were in London playing the first gig, and it felt like no time had passed. Two minutes in I had this smile on my face. There's no way I could explain to anyone what I was going through right at that moment, but I felt like that seven years just evaporated."

Snow Patrol's tour with Sheeran was a bit of a payback since the group took Sheeran on the road in the U.S. as a support act back when he was first starting out. "He returned the favor spectacularly, exponentially, bigger than we gave him," Lightbody says. "He's a phenomenal person to go on tour with, just an amazing person to be around. It's a strange and interesting thing to be the support act, a different style of show, but of course we jumped at the chance to play stadiums with him."

Lightbody says he "can't tell exactly" what 25 years of Snow Patrol feel like, although he notes that, "we've been through a lot together. It does feel like some time has passed for us -- I think 25's about right." The group plans to celebrate with new recordings of some of its old songs as well as some special shows in the U.K. and Europe.

Snow Patrol is also working on new music, with plans to hunker down on it in earnest at the start of 2020. "I've already written a bunch of songs," Lightbody says. "When you're on tour everything's a little scattered so I'd like to be static for a minute or two before I start writing. We're on tour to the first of the year, so we'll get back into (writing) in January, probably."

Snow Patrol, with We Are Scientists and Ryan McMullan, perform Saturday, May 4, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors at 7 p.m. $35-$65, 248-399-2980 or royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloamusictheatre.com

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