Keane Manchester Arena 2012 – Review

Having already seen the likes of Muse and the Killers this month already, it was nice to finish the month with a breathtaking end. Keane are one of my favourite bands, so I am not going to pretend that this is acompletely unbiased review. I am sure as I mentioned Keane, there were some music snobs out there that will be tutting, shaking their heads or some more foul mouthed telling me to fuck off with my shit taste in music… Well I won’t and don’t use that type of language with me.

Already the gig was set to be something very different, it was being performed “in the round”. Now I’ve never seen band that has played in the round, and I was very interested to see how this would work or might not work. Another major difference to this gig, was that the standing area on the floor, was changed so that they were seats there instead. Now even though this would sacrifice some of the attendance, it made sure that those lucky enough to be on the floor (me) would get an intimate atmosphere in an arena setting.
Before the show started.

Before the show started.

Support was provide by Wolf gang, who I thought sounded excellent. Annoyingly their lead singer, decided to stick to only to two ends of of the stage. We managed a quick glance at the side of his head at times but that was it. This only added to the anxiety that we’d be the unlucky one, and end up having to look at the back of Tom Chaplin’s head for the majority of the performance. There wasn’t long for me to worry about this though, as soon the lights was turned off. A wonderfully atmospheric walk on music played as Keane walked through the audience on to the stage; a nice touch. Soon thankfully, the fact this was a seating ground floor lost all meaning as the crowd stood. This was great, it struck me at the time as how rare this is, I could stand so close to a stage, and have so much room.

The show got straight in to full steam with the soaring (expect that word a lot, he has a soaring voice) You are young. The show carried on with always popular Bend and Break, before moving on to On the Road. On the road, is a song that can quickly warm up a crowd, and Tom Chaplin did his best to get the appreciative, but quiet crowd going. On the Road is a song with plenty of “Ohhh ohhh” moments for the crowd to sink there their teeth into. Soon any fears that I would be stuck seeing the back end of the band for the entire gig, had ended. After 3 songs; Tom had already done 100 laps of the stage, giving everyone a good view, we had seen Richard on the drums revolve round on a turn table, Tim on Keyboard change to a piano on the other end of the stage, and Jessie on bass, had done a few laps around also. This carried on throughout the whole show, the planning and rehearsal quality could clearly be seen. There was a real effort by the lads to make sure everyone got an equal amount of the view.

I had seen Keane live earlier this year, at the 02 academy in Leeds, it was great show. But comparing it to this arena version, would be unfair. It was a superbly designed set. Now It didn’t have the wow factor of bands that the likes of Muse have. But never-the-less, it looked great. It was a simple design to the one in Leeds just bigger, but the real difference was in the lighting. It was perfectly suited to each song. And from what I hear, it looked even better from further away from the stage.

KEANE 030

Once they played Everybody’s Changing, the set was in full swing. Slightly disappointingly though, was the lack of the audience’s going all in, when singing the song with the band. Though a deafening applause after the song showed how much the crowd appreciated the band. Half way through the set, there was a slow down in the pace of the performance, as Keane (and one song with just Tom Chaplin and a guitar) played two beautiful acoustic songs. Then the pace soon sped quickly back up with Disconnected.

KEANE 020

Tom Chaplin’s vocal were great as usual

Soon Keane pulled out the big guns, playing Is It Any Wonder, This Is The Last Time, and Somewhere Only We know. During which the stage took another slight transformation as huge spiralling pillars of light appeared from above the stage and came down. The main set ended with Bedshaped, I have mentioned before this is my favourite song, and it was great to hear the audience sing a long with this. Tom was great in getting the crowd involved, in a very Freddie Mercury way. He talks to the crowd through the whole set, and lets them feel that they are a part of something special and unique.

A little lighter of a shot

A little lighter shot

Of course as usual there, was a quick pause as the band took a few minutes to do the traditional encore. Once they came back on they played the emotional Sea Fog, the rousing and addictivly catchy Sovereign Light Cafe, and they finished on the rocky Crystal Ball. During Sovereign Light Cafe, 3 large disco balls descended. And of course these disco balls stayed for crystal ball.

This was an absolutely amazing gig, and if you see Keane are touring your town (or just close by) sometime soon, I would whole heartedly recommend seeing them. Even if you are not the biggest fan of the music itself, you won’t be disappointed with the performance.

Till next time Keane….

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A tidy up…

You might have noticed the new blog theme, I was getting bored with the old theme and thought it was time for a change, hope you like it. Now along with the cosmetic change of a new theme, I’ve made things a little tidier. Before this little update, my short story and extra pages (at the top of the blog), were also doubled up as post from when I first created them. Now this meant for all extensive purposes these were two separate post (& webpages). For example; when I updated my, Extras – Band I have seen live page it wouldn’t have updated the original post. So to save me faffing about, I have deleted the original post. Meaning if you tired to find the post using the search function, you would only find the one version rather than two.
The only major changes is that you won’t find these pages using the archive any more  because they aren’t post they are pages… I am getting myself a little confused here. Anyway you shouldn’t need to search for these pages, because, there is a nice handy link at the top of the blog. The other change is sadly if they were any comments on the post version they have been deleted along with the post, because I couldn’t find a way to transfer them (there was only two so no major tragedy).
Another change is that the america photos posted earlier this month will be under, Extras – Photos, so for now there will be two version of that.

Hope you like the changes, hopefully it will give me a kick up the butt to update this blog a little more.

Song of the month November 2012

Skyworld is a demonstration album by a music production company “Two steps from hell”. Being honest, I didn’t really know what demonstration album even was… but the album came recommend. So I gave it a listen, and all in all it is pretty good, it is like a soundtrack to a film… but the film doesn’t exist. So I can only assume this is a basically like an advertising pitch to film company’s. There is a few hit and miss songs on there, but I really enjoyed the first song.

Also I would like to see the film that skyworld could be the soundtrack too.

America 2012

A few photos from my recent trip to America, we visited Washington DC, various places in Virginia; including many places from the revolutionary war, which I have found very helpful as playing Assassin’s creed 3 at the moment (educational and fun).  After that we went across the country to LA and California, in a quite Disneyland oriented leg of the trip.

A quite scary photo, taken by my mum, clearly just a trick of the eye though

Me at my first NFL game

Had a pretty good view of the action

Inside the capital building

The white house, on another presidential note… we also managed to see his motorcade; that was cool

And now we move to Virginia

Skyline drive Virginia

It is a tree, a nice tree though…

A couple of nice photos from the plane

Moving on to California

It is Pluto

Disney….

A bird… we wasn’t feeding it

And then we went home…..

This last month

So in the last month, I have been on holiday. I have been to Washington DC, done stuff there; saw my first NFL game (Redskins vs Vikings) seen the usual sights, blah blah blah. Went to Virginia and California did lots of great stuff, all in all been a pretty good holiday  I may talk about it more later, but I am going to post a few photos of my time there some time soon. Now, since I have been back I’ve been to see Muse, and the Killers. I have seen a few new bands and singers since that I last updated my bands I have seen live list, so that has been updated. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/bands-i-have-seen-live/

Any who speak, later.