British popsters, Keane seemed as surprised as I was to see this completely sold out crowd at the Kool Haus go ballistic as they took to centre stage. It was a great welcome back for frontman Tom Chaplin, who checked in for rehab last year, forcing the band to cancel their 2006 tour. Who knew Keane had such a wide range of loyal fans? Everyone from six to sixty was enticed by the tunes to sway, bop, waggle and sing along.
Starting out with their stellar pianist, Tim Rice-Oxley tinkering out "The Iron Sea" instrumental on keys, the magician of the keyboard would capture the spot light for most of the evening. Singer, Tom Chaplin and drummer, Richard Hughes sauntered on a short time later and led right into "Put It Behind You" a newbie from their sophomore album Under The Iron Sea. As Chaplin led into the popular "Everybody's Changing", he beckoned the crowd to "sing your hearts out" and they obliged all night.
Surrounded by numerous small screens displaying above shots of each band member as they played, this trio exuded pure passion. Chaplin's bountiful energy had him clamoring all over the stage, drums and barriers with stronger tunes "Leaving So Soon" and "This Is The Last Time". This contagious exuberance spilled into the crowd as everyone danced along, waved their arms and embraced these Britpoppers with open arms and a huge Canadian Flag.
Slowing things down, Chaplin reached for his acoustic guitar as all three members took centre stage for "Your Eyes Open". Being known as band who successfully recorded two albums without a guitar, it was an unusual switch up that worked beautifully. Other melancholic melodies, "Might As Well Be Strangers" and "Try Again" brought back the piano laden musicianship with angelic vocals that Keane thrive on.
But it wasn't all singing and dancing. There was a more solemn moment as Chaplin introduced a poem written by W.B. Yeats about an Irish soldier foreseeing his own death. The poem was read over the sound system as the band bowed their heads in respect and images of couples dancing with gas masks on flashed on the screens. A dramatic performance of "Bad Dream", which is based on the poem, followed. A little deep for a concert but very effective in getting their message out, which I'm guessing is "war sucks".
The down time didn't last long as they ended the set with "Somewhere Only We Know", and their latest "Is It Any Wonder". Both had Chaplin throw the mic to the crowd for the chorus, which through us all back into high gear.
Returning for the three song encore, Keane ripped through the mystical "Atlantic" and one of my personal favs "Bedshaped" ended the party too soon.
Writer: Lisa Kerr