Keane came out swinging last night and by the end of the evening, had knocked us all out. I'm always surprised when I remember that they only have three albums, because the sheer number of memorable, catchy, beautiful songs in their repertoire trumps some bands that have been around for ages.
It was, by far, the loudest show I've ever been to on this side of the pond. I can't even think of a close second. I'm going to generalize here and say that I've noticed American crowds (as a whole...there are always pockets of enthusiasm, usually towards the middle-front) just aren't as "into it" as most British crowds. This probably has a lot to do with the (mostly British) bands I choose to see, but it's what I've encountered. Chicago crowds are a bit better than Florida crowds, though. Sorry, Florida! Anyway, for the first time, I didn't necessarily feel like I was in America while I was at a concert. Somewhere in the middle of their set, lead singer Tom Chaplin, who was fairly chatty throughout the night, proclaimed:
"I think it's fair to say that this has been the best show of our tour so far."
[After about a four minute applause break]"Now I just have to figure out a way to shut you all up so we can sing the song!"
You can just tell when a band enjoys a show. To say that Keane were appreciative of the audience would be an understatement. They gave us back all the love we gave them and more. Chuffed is the best word I can think of to describe their mood. Something that's always fascinated me is the way that concertgoers and bands play off of each other, because I think every band is different in that respect. I've been to gigs where you can tell that the artist would put on the same exact show no matter what the audience's reaction was. Then there are times like last night, where you can see that the band is feeding off of the reaction of the crowd and their energy actually builds and the show becomes even better than anyone ever thought it could be. This was the perfect synergy (Perfect Symmetry?) that we all experienced at the beautiful Aragon Ballroom. The room that Tom said made him feel like he was "at Disneyland"...which, of course, makes it the happiest place on Earth.
There was a sad moment when Tom made reference to some issues that had prevented them from coming back to Chicago sooner. Keane, of course, had to cancel their last U.S. tour because of drug problems, which he didn't specifically address, but the implication was obviously there. He looked good. Happy, energetic...I always want to use the word sprightly to describe him, but that's just because he's so darn adorable. Keyboardist Tim was also all over the stage and headbanging in his sparkly shirt. They were so much fun to watch. I must make quick mention of how sweaty Tom was by the end. It was really incredible. Literally head-to-toe.
So although I was tired as HELL from my early morning and hours of working out earlier in the day at the SELF Magazine Workout in the Park (which I will write about soon, because that was #2 on my list of things I need to put in my blog), I had no problem finding the energy to rock, thanks to the band and the crazy crowd. This was my second time seeing Keane, but my first time seeing them with Jon, so it was extra special. If you don't know their music, you can check out some of their stuff on YouTube, including a song that has quickly become my workout jam, Spiralling. I would love to embed a video here, but I'm finding more and more that the function has been disabled by the record companies. I don't really understand the thinking behind that, because either way, people are hearing about their bands and checking out their music, but what can you do? They're worth a little clicking around, though.