Live Review: Keane at London’s O2 Arena – Thursday 12th February 2009

By on Friday, 13th February 2009 at 2:57 am
 

Keane live at London's O2 - 12th Feb (side)“Music for Bedwetters” the legendary Alan McGee christened Keane. The Creation Records founder is usually right about most things, however he seems to have got Keane’s audience completely wrong. At the first of two sold out nights at London’s vast O2 Arena last night, everyone from grannies to teenagers to toddlers were present.

As front man Tom Chaplin commented, their first gigs were in venues smaller than their B-Stage on this tour, and his stage personality has certainly grown with the stages they’ve filled. Playing such big arenas on this tour has seen Tom go from a decent stage presence to a full-blown Bono impression, short of the preaching about the 3rd world.

Opening up the evening, we finally got a chance to catch the hotly tipped Frankmusik. He took over the arena’s stage like it was his own, taking his beatboxing, electro dance tunes a la old style Moby mixed with Calvin Harris to the masses and converting the hoards with the catchy hooks and recognisable samples.

Once the stage was set for Keane, they burst out, triumphantly opening with “Lovers are Losing”, they pleased everyone, playing the classics (Somewhere Only We Know, Everything’s Changing), the current chart hits (Perfect Symmetry, Spiralling) the fan favourite rarities (Sunshine, Snowed Under) and the obligatory new ones. 22 songs in 105 minutes isn’t bad pace for a well seasoned band, let alone some East Sussex kids who were unknown just five years ago.

Starting off the evening slowly, the light display was modest however as things progressed, the national grid was tested to the limits, with Again and Again featuring some computer game graphics on the huge screen behind the band, and A Bad Dream a rather haunting video of war-era dancing in gas masks. The production values were distinctly ramped up, with a B stage inviting a return to their early days, playing to an almost empty room at the Hope and Anchor in north London. Tunes like “Snowed Under” offered a chance to go back to basics.

Coming to the end of the tour, Tom’s voice wasn’t at its best; however this inevitably led to the mass yell-along to “Somewhere Only We Know” towards the end of the evening. Croaky, he took a break to let the crowd do what they do best: “Angels” for the bed-wetting generation, if you will.

Closing out with the usual mass-hug-along of “Bedshapped”, it was sadly time to go home. Whatever you may think of the Battle three piece, they sure know how to put on a good show and have some great pop tunes. Granted, they’re no Arcade Fire or other critics current hype band, but they do what they do best: make great tunes for the mainstream.

Tickets for this event were kindly provided by Needtickets.

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After the jump: setlist and photos.

Keane: London’s O2 Arena, Thursday 12th February 2009:

Lovers are Losing
Bend and Break
Everybody’s Changing
Better than this
Again and again
A bad dream
This is the last time
Sprialling
Try again
Sunshine
Snowed under
You haven’t told me anything
Leaving so soon
You don’t see me
Perfect symmetry
Somewhere only we know
Crystal ball

Playing along
Black burning heart
Is it any wonder
Bedshaped

Keane live at London's O2 Arena - 12th February 2009

Keane at London's O2 Arena - 12th Feb 2009

Keane live at London's O2 Arena - 12th February 2009

Keane live at London's O2 Arena - 12th February 2009

Keane live at London's O2 Arena - 12th February 2009

Keane live at London's O2 Arena - 12th February 2009

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5 Responses

2:18 pm
19th February 2009

Alan McGee’s “bed-wetters” jibe was directed at Coldplay and not Keane!

7:46 pm
17th May 2009

great review – we caught Keane on May 8 2009 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California for this tour – it was truly remarkable – Tom keeps getting better as a ‘front man’ – his soaring vocals sounded better live than on the latest release – see a full review here at douglasharr.wordpress.com

[…] There Goes The Fear. We’ve bought you live reviews from Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Lovebox, Keane and La Roux amongst many, many more. We’ve interviewed Mew, The Boxer Rebellion and Marmaduke […]

11:56 pm
10th December 2010

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3:02 am
6th January 2012

I would like my camera pictures looked this good

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