By DAN MACINTOSH
LOS ANGELES, CA – Keane is oftentimes mentioned in the same breath as other similar British acts, like Coldplay and Travis, because they perform keyboard-based songs with decidedly overt earnestness.
The four-piece is touring behind Cause and Effect, the act’s fist album in eight years. This group’s dynamic is driven by the voice singer Tom Chaplin gives to Tim Rice-Oxley’s lyrics, and the group’s latest album many times details the recent breakdown of Rice-Oxley’s marriage. Even though many of these songs (most of which were played during the show) delve into dark subject matter, this concert was nevertheless ultimately an uplifting experience.
Chaplin is an enthusiastic front person and sincerely enjoyed the loud response from tonight’s audience. He’s also particularly clean. You could have brought young children to this show, and not felt awkward. Only one curse word – and it was a minor one – was heard all night. The ballad “Strange Room” best expressed Rice-Oxley’s unhappy predicament, as its lyric finds one person coming to terms with the end of a loving relationship. Although it’s not Chaplin’s story, he nevertheless sang it believably.
The group also performed its well known songs, the best of which is “Bend and Break,” which simply soared live. The band also sang “Everything’s Changing” and – of course – closed with “Somewhere Only We Know.” Whether songs were new or old, though, the band performed everything enthusiastically – like they still had something to prove.
Saint Sister opened the show as a unique duo consisting of a female pianist, as well as a female harpist. The act gets labeled traditional Irish folk music, but the songs it played tonight sure sounded pop-y. The act’s melodically romantic songs fit well preceding Keane’s set.
Keane may not be as popular in Los Angeles as they are in their home country, but they sure have a loud and loyal fanbase in SoCal. With its beautiful traditional décor, the Dolby Theatre was the perfectly appropriate venue to host Keane’s triumphant local appearance.
Ed. note: Following the Los Angeles performance, Keane canceled remaining tour dates because of Wuhan virus precautions. See the band’s Instagram post: