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Keane Tour 2005, Boston 06-04-05 Print E-mail
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Contributed by Chimera   
Jun 17, 2005 at 05:39 PM
Review: Keane Tour 2005, Boston 06-04-05


Keane Lights Up The Stage

In today's concert world, it is very rare to see a mainstream band perform with such simplicity as does the trio that makes up the band Keane. Tom, Dick and Tim [aka Tom Chaplin (vocals), Richard Hughes (drums) and Tim Rice-Oxley (piano)], are a rare sight to see in today's pool of superficial, bubble-gum "rock" bands and an ego-infused music industry. An ironic twist of fate landed this band to be today's poster child for acoustic bliss and lyrical integrity. Who says a band needs to have a guitarist? As The White Stripes is the rock gods answer to electric guitar power riffs, Keane is the acoustic opposite (they did, however, have a guitarist that dropped out of the band at the very beginnings of Keane). There is something about Keane that reaches out to most everyone that sees them live. Whether it be Tom's tenor vocals or Tim's melodic keystrokes, it's clear that these guys have tapped into something so refreshingly bare, it attracts even the harshest of critics. Even though this band is being heavily compared to their cohorts Coldplay, little do people know that Keane originated before Coldplay and in the early years of formation, it was Coldplay that played gigs with Keane and not the other way around.

When I first heard their debut album, Hopes and Fears, I thought to myself, "Chimera, these guys are going to shine. They might not become the biggest band in the world, but they will be appreciated." This sentiment, in my humble opinion, is dismissed in today's music haven. Keane's music is very unique in the sense that Tom's lyrics speak to mostly everyone that listens to them. The music evokes an emotion that is universal, but at the same time personal. Their songs are introspective, detailing with moments in the members' lives that asks the questions, "where am I now in my life? is this where I want to be? am I who I thought I would be? what is really going on in front of my face?" These are all questions one asks at least once during their quarter-life review. I love the album, so now I wanted to see these guys live and really decipher whether they were just a studio manufactured band, or a band that really has the heart in their music like they say they do. So, I followed them to Boston.

It was at the Bank of America Pavilion that would house their sound for the evening. The venue wasn't in a bad location. It was right on the harbour; setting it up nicely for a summer concert. Though I do have to say, their security sucked ass. Could they be any more strict? The venue had a horrible sightline, in the sense that, there was none! No stadium seating, just basic fold up gym chairs tied together by plastic tags. So what we're really dealing with here is a tent with a small raised stage and hundreds of fold up chairs. Nice. Mind you, the location didn't make it horrible, but the equivalent venue in my city is actually a venue that is fit for bands to perform. If you have no stadium seating, don't expect that everyone is going to be nice when everyone in the audience starts standing up. I'm going to want to stand up on my chair to see over the 6' afro head Carrot Top sitting in front of me. I will want to move up closer to see the stage; and that's what exactly happened. Tons of people moved up and of course that formed a chain of uptight security guards to keep us from rushing to the stage. Umm...it's Keane. There's no possibility of a rush. Mind you, we wouldn't have to do this if the idiots in front didn't stand up in the first place. It's not a band where you need to stand, it's a mellow concert, but what can you do? There will always be one person that wants to get up and dance the whole night, and it only takes one person plus a night of beers to make everyone else follow the lead.

Before Keane set the stage ablaze, there were a couple of openers to warm up the crowd. The first one, Regina Spektor, was absolutely horrible. She sounded like a wannabe Tori Amos meets Bjork meets American Idol reject. Really, it was bad. If you're really this desperate to make a scene and gain attention, please for the love of god get singing lessons and somebody else to write your songs. At least that way, it will be tolerable to mine ear. You're not unique Regina, you're just lucky. Josh Ritter on the other hand sounded like he deserved to be up there. This guy had a great mix of rock, funk and grass-roots sound that comes from a guy that looks like he wakes up to a "marriage you wanna" reefer.

A half hour later, Keane comes on. Everyone goes nuts. We know we're in for a night of great music. They played all their great hits from their album, "Bend and Break", "Everybody's Changing" and, of course, "Somewhere Only We Know", which incited the crowd to sing along to the ever popular lyrics. This is the thing about Keane's songs also, they are singable. Tom has a way of making you sing along without you even realizing it. That's exactly what happened on a few of the songs like "This Is The Last Time". Keane also played a couple of new songs they were working on for their second album, which were not disappointing at all. The stage presence of these guys is great. They just seem like a group of lads that are having great fun. It's refreshing and endearing. Tom himself was taken aback to see the acceptance of the crowd that night saying that he was "speechless". Tom gave a great performance that night, not missing one note. Richard banged on the drums at timed perfection and Tim demolished the keyboards with such enthusiam, I thought he was going to keel over at the end of it all. The concert was a great success, and I have to add, much better than the U2 Concert the week before. Amazing, and true. If you want to see music and have a great time, see Keane. You'll get what you pay for.



------------------------------------------

-Overall Rating: [A-]

-Sound and Acoustics: [A] (I didn't hear any clicks or pops. Most importantly, Tom was right on tune. It was acoustic, 'nuf said.)

-Ambience: [C+] (The chairs stunk, but the people were nice. If they didn't stand up, they would have been nicer.)

-Lighting and Effects: [A] (No major frilly lights. Just plain Frennels, which added a nice touch to the respective songs. Nice background screen that featured images that also complimented the songs.)

-Security: [F-] (The security guards were old and strict. It was a chaperone nightmare.)

-Price and Merchandise: [C-] ($30 dollar concert shirts, $7 dollar slushies, and $20 dollar seats, which was the best buy.)

-Seeing a better concert after seeing U2 perform: Priceless, for everything else U2 urges you to use MasterCard.

Written and Reviewed By: Kay (Chimera)
CrystalOne Radio
Last Updated ( Aug 29, 2005 at 07:34 AM )
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