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Keane Dish Out Sonic Therapy at LA's Greek Theatre

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More often than we'd like to admit, we've found ourselves at a gig that runs way too long... our eyes will invariably shift to the nearest clock... hoping that we just heard the last song. Keane's performance at The Greek yesterday was about as far removed from that scenario as you can possibly get. We credit this to good pacing, solid vocals and contagious optimism from the band. The pianist, Tim Rice-Oxley, was the most energetic. Oxley reminded us a bit of Chris Martin of Coldplay, only more animated.

Comparisons to Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie are inevitable, but the band is carefully perfecting a soaring, dramatic sound that will likely break that trend. Unlike Chris Martin, Tom Chaplin's vocal range is so high that he rarely uses falsetto. On songs like She Has No Time, Chaplin reaches epic peaks with ease. We'd compare Chaplin to Radiohead's Thom Yorke rather than Martin. Both have the ability to slide up and down the scale with ease. Somehow Chaplin wraps all the sorrow in syrupy sweetness. You're not sure if you want to cry or jump for joy.... or perhaps engage in a little of both.

During one of the sparse moments of banter, the three-piece band from Battle, East Sussex, admitted that playing in LA felt a bit surreal. You'd never know from the concert. They performed a string of favorites, with nary a misstep or faltered note.Highlights included fan favorites like Somewhere Only We Know, Everybody's Changing, We Might As Well Be Strangers and She Has No Time. They also sprinkled in several new cuts, including Hamburg Song and the stellar Nothing In Your Way. If the new material is any indication of the forthcoming CD, fans are in for a treat.

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Seeing Keane live is a singular experience. Mix equal parts therapy, etherial and add a pinch of geeky charm, and you'll understand the band's appeal. They're appreciative musicians that you can't help but embrace.

Keane's collective enthusiasm is particularly commendable, since they've been touring nonstop for nearly two years. Last night's performance marks one of Keane's last stops in North America. They'll play a few shows with U2 at the close of the tour. Last night Chaplin stated that the band is ready and eager to get back into the studio. LAist can't wait to see what's next.

Further Listening

Keane images are (C) ALex Lake and appear courtesy of the band's website.