Although not much British Top 40 ever makes it across the pond, every now and then, one of these British giants will extend their tour to America. Last night, was a rare occasion such as this, we were treated to Keane with special guests Ingrid Michaelson, and Fran Healy from Travis After having to miss the Arctic Monkeys in April because I was in Coachella, hell or high water, I was not going to miss Keane.
After I was informed the show was expected to last four hours, I advised my pregnant guest that maybe we should sit in the lobby a while in an effort to preserve energy for Keane. After entering the venue, she asked the event staff if we could have a seat and they quickly allowed us a seat in the balcony area. Even though our view was limited, the comfort level was far superior to standing elbow to elbow on the floor, and we were very grateful to the accommodating House of Blues. If I would have known it was as easy as asking, we would not have waited outside in the lobby and missed Fran Healy from Travis.
I must admit, when I saw Ingrid Michaelson listed on the ticket, I did not know who she was. After I heard her unmistakable voice, I knew exactly who she was. I do not think I have ever been treated to such a powerful, clear, and clean vocal performance from a female artist. Ingrid Michaelson showed off her amazing talent by transitioning from a near a’capella The Way I Am, to a “slightly different version,” which sounded more like The Donnas. Ingrid also showed her sense of humor by saying, “We’re just doing this for shoots and goggles," and closed with a cover of Britney Spear’s Toxic. Ingrid and her band exited the stage to a choreographed little dance, which got the audience to give a well-deserved standing ovation.
Keane came out shortly after, opening with their first track on Night Train, House Lights. Keane proceeded to bring the house down with Back In Time, Bend & Break, Everybody's Changing, A Bad Dream, Again and Again, Nothing in My Way, This is the Last Time, and Stop For a Minute. I was quite surprised how loud and lively Keane played their songs, sounding even better than their records. At one point during the show, Tom commented, "Technically anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong." I was taken aback by this comment, as I truly thought their production was seamless. Piano player, Tim Rice-Oxley was playing stacked keyboards with ferocity, moving his feet about like Jerry Lee Lewis. All of Keane, even the additional guitarist, were full of energy and really gave us their all.
The band left the stage and lead singer, Tom Chaplin did beautiful acoustic version of Playing Along. A few other band members joined the stage for another acoustic song, Try Again. The backdrop changed from just Keane to the graphic off their latest album, Night Train. Tom Claplin exclaimed, "This is a love song to this great country," and played Clear Skies. Keane played on with You Haven't Told Me Anything, Is It Any Wonder?, and Your Love which was sang beautifully by Tim (piano). They brought the show down slowly and sweetly with Perfect Symmetry, Somewhere Only We Know, and Bedshaped. As he walked off stage, Tom exclaimed, "Vegas you are the perfect audience. Singing every song."
The balcony all rose to their feet, the crowd below chanted “Keane, Keane,” and the House of Blues erupted in full applause. The band came out smiling, seemingly humbled by the overwhelming response from their American fans. Tom praised Fran Healy from Travis and thanked their fans and everyone for supporting their efforts for the past twelve years. They played My Shadow, and Crystal Ball for an encore before ending their two hour performance.
Many fans rushed over to the merch table to get some keepsakes and rave about the great show we had just seen. I thought Keane and Ingrid put on award winning concerts, not only in quality and talent, but in energy as well. I will admit I was a little brokenhearted Keane did not play Spiraling, but considering that was my only negative, this was a great concert and a must see for any British rock fan.