Long-time readers already know that whenever I mention the word “Keane,” a mention of my mom couldn’t be too far behind. As I’ve explained over and over on this site, my mom LOVES Keane. Basically every time Keane is within the tri-state area I get an email from my mom alerting me of the concert and a request that I get tickets for her to go to the show.
We’ve already been to Keane shows at Radio City and Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, but I was pretty excited to find out that my next Keane-venture would be in Brooklyn at the very beautiful Williamsburg Waterfront venue which has a fantastic view of Manhattan across the East River.
The weather was perfect — warm, but not sweaty, with a cool breeze. The crowd was in high spirits. By the time Keane came on stage I think my mom had already worked herself to the third or fourth row of the crowd. Singer Tom Chaplin was looking a bit like a ’50s greaser, with a shortly cropped ‘do, skinny black jeans, black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirt, and slim light-colored sneakers.
Almost instantly he put the treads on his trainers to work by jumping atop the monitors as he sang, waving his hands about in big, sweeping gestures. (Examples: finger pointing, outstretched Jesus arms, heartfelt two-handed crooning into the microphone.) Although Keane really isn’t always my particular cup o’ tea, what I do admire about them is the non-stop, seemingly limitless amount of exuberance and enthusiasm they bring to each and every show. There are plenty of bands much smaller than Keane that seem to pride themselves on being perpetual sticks in the muds, but these British pop stars certainly do not seem to take their fortunate position for granted at all.
I recognized some of Tom’s banter from the last show I saw — the bit about his favorite song they’ve ever written was the same intro to “Perfect Symmetry” I’d heard at Radio City. It’s funny, to a jaded concert-goer like me, repetition of banter can come across as the performer being “boring” or “predictable,” but my mom didn’t seem to mind one bit. For her, going to a concert is an event that only happens once or twice a year, and when her favorite band repeats themselves in banter, she’s not annoyed by it — she’s almost comforted by it. Being a super fan with an uncanny ability to remember nearly every detail of each Keane show she’s seen or read about, when Tom says the same thing as he did at another show, it’s almost like he’s just following a Keane script. Just like seeing a favorite play — it’s ok to repeat things over and over, the line can never be said exactly the same, and every time it is said it has a different meaning or feeling.
Yesterday I got a funny email from my mom about the show:
Richard, Keane drummer, always takes a photos of the audience from his drum set. He has a few shots on the Keane website and he said it was the most spectacular concert he ever played because of the view and it was a great show. One of the audience photos is clickable but I can’t make out which one is me, but I do see the guy that was two rows ahead of me so I know where I was in relation. Maybe I can’t be seen because the girl in front of me raised her arms up in the air as he was shooting the photo. It was a great night of music and fun for me and I will always remember that concert. Thanks again.
Even though I’m slightly mortified by my mom’s obsession with this band, as a fellow super fan type person, I respect and understand the passion. And I would pretty much have to have a heart of stone to not be happy after reading an email like that. As a result, you pretty much can bank on me and my mom attending the next Keane concert. She’ll be the one elbowing her way up to the front, and I’ll be the one watching her a few rows back, smiling.