On the road with Snow Patrol -- We followed the band as they played four gigs around the British Isle in only two days

By Clark Collis
Updated December 12, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST

Day 1, Lunchtime
Gate Theatre,
Dublin, Ireland
Snow Patrol perform in front of a set for Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler and sound razor-sharp, having resisted Dublin’s many boozy temptations. ”We used to drink far too much,” singer Gary Lightbody says later. ”It was an awful lot of fun, but it was just a chaotic clusterf—.” After we board the band’s private plane at Dublin Airport, the pilot asks, worryingly, if we are ”ready to rock.”

Day 1, Evening
Empire Music Hall,
Belfast, N. Ireland
The Bangor-raised Lightbody dedicates new track ”The Golden Floor” to his 15-month-old niece, Honey, who is attending her first show. (Aw…) The often melancholic rockers also play the lively ”Take Back the City,” Lightbody’s tribute to his formerly terrorism-troubled hometown. ”I hated Northern Ireland when I was a kid,” he says on the flight from Belfast to Edinburgh. ”But now it’s just a joyous place.”

Day 2, Lunchtime
Assembly Hall,
Edinburgh, Scotland
Lightbody makes the most of performing in the austere, stained-glass-window-equipped venue. ”I’m going to say ‘s—”’ he promises. ”It probably hasn’t been said in this room before.” Things go wrong with the Grey’s Anatomy-approved worldwide hit ”Chasing Cars,” which the band messes up and has to restart. ”What we’ve learned,” Lightbody says later in the set, ”is that when we play four gigs in two days, things go wrong.”

Day 2, Evening
The Bloomsbury Theatre,
London, England
”I’m going to give a talk about something,” Lightbody tells the crowd. ”Steam engines!” He doesn’t. But highlights include a rousing, crowd-assisted ”Shut Your Eyes,” and the realization that — fun though this has been — your writer doesn’t have to see another Snow Patrol concert tomorrow. ”I enjoyed all the shows,” agrees Rita Meno, an L.A.-based fan who has also been accompanying the band after winning a MySpace competition. ”But at this point, I’m good.”