Yes, that’s still my favorite Keane song. And if you’re thinking I’m not a very good Keane fan for liking their old pop single, you’re right. I’m not. While I own their debut record, “Hopes & Fears,” I’ve never really been a fan of the band, despite the fact that we share the same name and that their popularity hides some of my web content when you search for me on Google (a blessing, really). I’ve always thought of them as talented, but just not my particular cup of tea. So when a friend messaged me with an opportunity to see Keane for free, I chuckled a little (again, we share the same name – the jokes went on WELL into the night) but happily agreed to check them out.
Going in, I knew little about Fran Healy, the lead singer of Travis, aside from a few quality songs I heard from his band. I fully expected to enjoy Ingrid Michaelson’s set the most, as I find her minimalist style of songwriting endearing. Keane, I suspected I would enjoy, though I was not really sure how much.
Fran Healy completely won the audience with his solo act. His was an intimate set, filled with stories about playing on tour, “nicking chords” from Noel Gallagher of Oasis (he since slipped in the phrase “What’s a Wonderwall, anyway?” into the alleged Travis song, “Writing to Reach You”), and having his heart broken by girl after girl. He messed up noticeably several times on stage (“Ahhh, fuck!”), only adding to the warmth of his performance.
Surprisingly, I didn’t care for Ingrid’s set at all. I felt she spent a good percentage of her performance playing cover songs (“Creep” is overdone – everyone, stop it now) and being an overall goofball. While I think this works most of the time, going on a seemingly five-minute long rant about her boobs was a bit much. And perhaps if I hadn’t heard Or, the Whale‘s amazing rendition of Britney’s “Toxic,” I may have enjoyed her closing version of it more. Don’t get me wrong. I think she’s an amazing artist. I would have just liked to see more of her art.
I enjoyed Keane very much. While I’m not a fan of listening to their music at home, it translated incredibly well into a live show. The same endless vocals and keys that bore me at home provided a steady stream of energy into the crowd. And the crowd seemed to enjoy it thoroughly, as the band spent more time smiling in thanks between songs while the crowd cheered their mouths and my eardrums off.
There was a point when everyone started chanting, “KEANE, KEANE, KEANE, KEANE.” I may or may not have pretended in my head that they were chanting for me. Just a little bit.