Keane Get Swept up 'Under the Iron Sea'

Mod Club
June 26, 2006
Keane personifies the term soft rock.

But if you've only heard the band's melancholy melodies on the radio or through the headset on your mp3 player then you've only experienced the 'soft' part of the band's sound; the true passion and energy of their tunes truly live on stage.

The British trio started off their set at the Mod Club in Toronto by building the anticipation of the crowd who had been waiting over an hour for the show to begin, with the haunting sounds of their instrumental track "the Iron Sea" from their most recent release Under the Iron Sea that hit stores earlier this month.

Luckily the band was worth the wait jumping into the set with energetic piano rock tunes like "Put it Behind You" and "Nothing in My Way". Though the band seemed to lack the obvious rock edge exemplified by the lack of a guitar in the mix, the sounds made by Richard Hughes beating on the drums, Tim Rice-Oxley pounding on the keys could be described as nothing but rocking out. Even lead singer Tom Chaplain who lacks the look of a Rockstar with his dirty blond hair and baby face belted out tunes with such intense vigor; he sung the heck out of each and every song.

Their intense energy brought new life to radio friendly tunes like "Bend and Break", "Everybody's Changing", "Somewhere Only We Know", and "This is the Last Time" from their debut disc Hopes and Fears, which even if you'd heard them a hundred times from the CD sounded refreshed and renewed on stage. The energy only increased as it bounced off of the roars of the eager crowd.

At one point the crowds roar even over took the lead singer, "you were singing so loudly I couldn't hear myself. Thank you." Chaplain mused.

After rocking through a couple of songs the band lightened the pace to belt out emotionally charged ballads like "We Might As Well Be Strangers" and "Try Again".

Chaplain occasionally paused to recount the stories that became songs like the melancholy "Hamburg Song". Written by Rice-Oxley during a rough patch for the band as a way of communicating his feelings to the other Keaners, "will you see me in the end? Or is it just a waste of time? Trying to be your friend?" Though the tune seemed almost too slow in concert the story of the song, and the obvious outcome told through the band's seamless dynamic on stage swept the crowd up on the song's musical journey.

In fact the crowd followed eagerly through the entire set of tunes from both of their albums to their new single, "Is it Any Wonder?"

As the band wandered off the stage the crowd that packed the venue that night gave one of the most honest calls for an encore I've ever heard, making me truly believe they wouldn't leave until the band came back on stage, whether they planned to or not.

The boys didn't disappoint with a three song encore that included the epic "Atlantic", the catchy energetic "Crystal Ball" and a favourite of mine and the crowd's the sweet and poignant "Bedshaped".

The crowd made up mostly of die hard fans who only found out about the concert at the intimate venue last week definitely left the set satisfied, and though it seemed that this wasn't the first Keane concert for most of them, the band's performance ensured that it also wouldn't likely be the last.

Writer: Michelle Garcia

Photo:Michelle Garcia

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