Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Keane at the Hollywood Palladium
Keane rocked. You did not misread that statement. Just ask any of the rabid fans in attendance at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday night. With the exception of a few warm up shows last year, Keane hasn't played a proper Southern California show in a number of years. The fans were amped and ready, as they showed their appreciation all night.
The Helio Sequence
I can't say enough about The Helio Sequence. Keep Your Eyes Ahead was one of my favorite releases of 2008. The combination of the frantic drumming of Benjamin Weikel (Drums) and the harmonious vocals of Brandon Summers (Vocals/Guitars) blend together for pure pop bliss.
I made sure to be at the Palladium on time in order to catch their full set. The backing synthesizer squalls started to echo loudly as The Helio Sequence endeared the audience with "Can't Say No". I couldn't hear Brandon's microphone for the first couple of songs but things were fixed by the time they tackled "Shed Your Love".
Brandon had eschewed his normal Telecaster shaped guitar for a Gibson hollowbody that added a different twist to their overall sound. I mainly noticed the increase in sustain as Brandon held onto the notes.
"Lately" is another track that rivals "Can't Say No" as one of the best tunes from the album. Sticking primarily to their latest album, it was unfortunate that the Helio Sequence had to end their set after seven songs. I was questioned a few times from fans asking, "Who was that band?...They were good!"
The Helio Sequence setlist at the Hollywood Palladium (5/09/09)
"Can't Say No"
"You Can Come To Me"
"Shed Your Love"
"Keep Your Eyes Ahead"
I was not too familiar with Matt Kearney, so I had to do a little research. Matt recently released his album City of Black & White on Columbia records. The women in the audience seemed to really soak up his Martin acoustic guitar based songs.
Matt Kearney setlist at the Hollywood Palladium (5/09/09)
"All I Have"
"Fire And Rain"
"Breathe In Breathe Out"
"Here We Go"
"Closer To Love"
"All I Need"
"Nothing Left To Lose"
I knew Keane meant business when I saw the flooring of their stage was adorned with the colorful patterns on their latest album Perfect Symmetry. A small army of cameramen flanked me in the photo pit. It turns out that they were filming portions of the show for Last Call with Carson Daly.
The energy from the crowd was palpable from the moment Keane took the stage. In all honesty, Keane looked stunned by the highly charged audience. Keane honed the crowd's energy to turn in a stellar performance that kept the crowd buzzing all night.
Tom Chaplin (Vocals/Guitar) bounded across the stage as he sang "The Lovers Are Losing" while strumming his Fender Telecaster. After tearing through "Everybody's Changing", Tom was already drenched in sweat and couldn't stop smiling. Tom commented very early that he could tell it was going to be a special night.
"Bend And Break" from Keane's first album Hopes And Fears had Tim Rice-Oxley (Keyboards/Piano) stomping and banging away on his Yamaha CP-70 Piano. Tom was tirelessly pacing the stage back and forth putting his heart and soul in every note.
"This Is The Last Time" was another old favorite that had the crowd singing along word for word. Keane was strategically interchanging old and new songs alike to keep the energy of the show consistently elevated. Jesse Quin (Bass) added some extra low end thump to the pulsating "Spiralling".
Tom would take the spotlight when he performed "Your Eyes Open" with just an acoustic guitar. I was surprised by their inclusion of "Early Winter" into the setlist, as this was the song that Tim had co-wrote on Gwen Stefani's album The Sweet Escape.
The political moment of the night came when Tom had explained that "Perfect Symmetry" was written when a lot of bombs were going off around the world. He would elaborate that there was an underlying hope in the lyrics and thanked the crowd for electing Barack Obama.
Keane kept the hits coming as they played "Crystal Ball" which is one of the stronger tracks from their second album Under The Iron Sea. The sing along moment of the evening was during "Bedshaped" as Tom stuck the microphone out into the crowd during the verses as the lights shone bright yellow during the song lyrics "Sun In Your Eyes" and would change to bright white lights when Tom sang "White light".
It was these little nuances that make me tip my hat to Keane as their attention to detail from the colored flooring, arrangement of their setlist, and coordination of the stage lighting showed that Keane strives to give their fans the best. On this particular night, Keane gave everything they had and more.
Keane setlist at the Hollywood Palladium (5/09/09)
"The Lovers Are Losing"
"Bend And Break"
"Nothing In My Way"
"Again And Again"
"This Is The Last Time"
"Your Eyes Open"
"You Haven't Told Me Anything"
"Leaving So Soon?"
"You Don't See Me"
"Somewhere Only We Know"
"Is It Any Wonder?"