Keane @ The Tivoli, Brisbane (20/04/09)

The last time I was at the Tivoli was for the Taylor Swift concert (please, don’t judge me too harshly) and the majority of that prepubescent crowd scared the living daylights out of me with their sky high heels and “Gossip Girl” wardrobe. Thankfully, the small crowd gathered outside the Tivoli on Monday night for the last show of Keane’s Australian tour were a lot less threatening (ever stood between a tween and her idol? It’s battleground, believe me).

Mid and early week gigs are never really the greatest of shows to go to, but Brisbane fans of the lads from Sussex ventured forth to check out Keane’s first show in five years, condemning the next Tuesday morning to an ear ringing daze of a blurry eyes and caffeine.

After a quick operatic warm up outside, Sydney boys, The Ivys hit the stage with a solid guitar heavy, rock number, proclaiming “love is free”. Worthy sentiments, but such a guitar heavy band was a bit of an odd choice to support piano rockers Keane. Nevertheless, the boys progressed steadily through their set, slowly drawing the crowd in with their catchy riffs, harmonies and synchronised bass drum duets, similar to that of Brand New’s performance early last year. A bit of technical drama with the drums proved to be a blessing in disguise with the acoustic version of Rain becoming a crowd favourite of the set and getting everyone in the mood for Keane.

After a decent break between the bands, and being entertained with the musical stylings of Prince and the Ting Tings, the stage when dark and Keane leaped into action with The Lovers Are Losing from their latest release Perfect Symmetry. And the crowd went wild.

With Keane’s infectious enthusiasm, mesmerising lyrics and melodies that just make you wish you were running through a meadow on a summer’s day, it was hard to understand why the show wasn’t sold out, or why, after such huge success overseas, the boys aren’t playing a larger venue. Not that I’m complaining, the Tivoli is a great venue, and it allowed the front man Tom Chaplin to really engage with the crowd and become best friends with basically everyone within arm’s reach of the stage.

Combining the new with old, Keane rocked out a few hits from 2004’s release Hopes and Fears including Everybody’s Changing and Bend And Break, whipping the crowd into frenzy at every pause. Other notable highlights of the evening included a rendition of recent tour escapades such as main composer, Tim Rice-Oxley’s attempt at Jay Z song at a local Brisbane karaoke bar, bassist Jesse Quin and Rice-Oxley’s synchronised head banging and Chaplin’s attempt to climb over everything on stage including drums and keyboards during Hopes And Fears.

The band kept up their infectious enthusiasm and hyper stage presence throughout the entire 75min set including a 3 song encore with crowd favourite’s Better Than This, Is It Any Wonder? and finally, Bedshaped which showed off pure Keane goodness with just keys and drums and an enthralled crowd singing along, word for word.

Overall, an immensely enjoyable way to spend a Monday night, and definitely worth the Tuesday morning work daze. With an impressive live performance, that doesn’t lose energy throughout the set and Chaplin’s effortless vocals, Keane attracts the most versatile crowd of punters including scenesters, rock oldies and even a raver or two judging by their pants. If the hints are anything to go by, hopefully they’ll be back on our shores soon, ready to provide another great performance.