Keane at The Olympia Theatre on November 21st 2012

The senseless roaring of a packed out Olympia Theatre sums up the welcome UK band Keane were to receive on their return to Irish shores. As the band stroll onstage, the sound is deafening as the crowd make their pleasure in seeing this band again unquestionable.

With no introduction, the band burst straight into opener You Are Young, showing off some deep rhythms and the signature big melodies that made Keane a big name on the indie pop scene. Tom Chaplin proves himself a dream frontman for any relatively well known pop band, as he flaunts moves that would make any boy band weak at the knees. Clearly delighted to be back, Chaplin finally addresses the crowd, stating that Dublin is “the benchmark- this is the standard of how all gigs should be.”

Moving into We Might As Well Be Strangers, the band have the opportunity to look poignant and show off their dark and sultry side. The following track Nothing in my Way returns to a more energetic flow, but also highlights the point at which the setlist begins to merge into one giant mess of songs that become close to indecipherable from each other. In the number of tracks that follow – including the big single Everybody’s Changing – there is a steady flow of generic music, both old and new. These numbers would suggest that Keane’s songwriting has become almost formulaic, and having found a formula that works they’re sticking to it.

As Chaplin sits himself down at his piano and awaits the expected hush of anticipation to befall the crowd, he is to be disappointed, as a chant of “Keano” rises from the audience. Soon enough however, he is granted permission to ease into the slow, stripped down number Hamburg Song. Closely following, and possibly highlighting the set, is the Spiralling single from album ‘Perfect Symmetry’. Bursting into this one the band have plenty of energy to give, and the crowd return it drop for drop, singing every word alongside Chaplin as best they can. However, this sense of genuine excitement is lost with the arrival of the track Disconnected from the band’s newest album ‘Strangeland’. Clearly Chaplin has once again consulted his book ‘Onstage Moves for Dummies’ as he falls to his knees, hands in the air, and sings “I just don’t feel I know you anymore” amidst other classic moves.

Finishing their set with two excellent tracks, Somewhere Only We Know and Bedshaped, the band finish on a high. Energetic and melodic, they keep energy up and spirits high, clearly enjoying the limelight as they bask in rapturous applause before leaving the stage. Returning for a brief encore that culminates with an early hit for the band, Crystal Ball, the crowd are left happy, and have definitely gotten their money’s worth after an hour and forty minutes of music.

Keane Photo Gallery

Photos: Michelle Geraghty