Apology Accepted: Keane Live in Berkeley

I still have my ticket to Keane’s original show for the Bay Area back in October. Ticketmaster was nice enough to automatically refund my money for the show that was canceled, but I kept the ticket. If you’re not familiar with the situation, the band canceled their fall tour in order for Tom Chaplin to go through rehab. Something I’ve found remarkable about the whole situation from the start is how open and transparent the band has been. The announcement was made on the band’s website by Tim Rice-Oxley the piano player, and perhaps the musical genius of the band. Last night redemption occurred. The original show for October was scheduled for Berkeley’s Greek Theater, which is an outdoor venue, so the rescheduled show was moved to the Berkeley Community Theater. Still a very large room, it provided for what has made Keane one of the better received live acts to come around recently; intimacy. I saw Keane play at ACL in2005, and thought they stole the show. From September 25, 2005:

“The amount of music is somewhat overwhelming. You definately have to just pick a couple people to see and dodge the heat the rest of the time. But we did manage to see Keane play. It was incredible. They are soooo good. Seriously, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a band pull a crowd that far in…at least a band not named U2. They were tight on their songs and looked like they were having the best time playing together. Can’t say enough good stuff about Keane.”

When Keane played ACL, it was late enough to be dark, but the heat was still there and the pre-hurricane wind of Hurricane Rita was pushing extremely hot air through the area, so it amounted to 30 mph winds blowing through what felt like a hairdryer blowing in your face. Tom made the comment that from where they come from (the UK) if the weather were to be like this, they’d assume it was the end of the world. The heat didn’t bother them then and they were able to energize a crowd that had been battling the heat all day. But back to 2007, before I digress too far.
Last night’s show in Berkeley was incredible, but I expected it this time. Not only did the band engage the crowd with their anthemic music and contagious energy, but there were several times when Tom Chaplin discussed their time away from music. At one point he said that he apologized for missing the last show in Berkeley and he said “I raise my hands because…” he held him self responsible. At one point he explained that the three guys in the band grew up together in music and that Tim wrote “Hamburg Song” as a sort of intervention asking Tom where the old Tom was. It was encouraging to see the transparency and I think it may have engaged the crowd even more. But as far as the performance it was top notch. I imagine Keane rarely disappoint.
The analytic side of my has a hypothesis for their success and their amazing shows. But I will spare you that. The show was spectacular and if you’re in Portland or Seattle, sell something to get a ticket, you won’t regret it. See their site for dates, times, and tickets.
Rocco DeLuca and the Burden opened the show, and while I have a few tracks from their 2006 album I Trust You To Kill Me, their performance has forced me to check out more of their stuff.

Keane recently released a live album on iTunes. And their albums Hopes and Fears and Under the Iron Sea are both must haves.

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