It’s a bit outrageous to see Keane in such a small venue under the bright sunlight in Austin, but there they were, at Filter magazines Cedar Courtyard party, catering to hundreds of people instead of their usual stadium sized crowd overseas. Keane may not be big in an indie kids heart but make no mistake, these guys can and have filled much larger spaces. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go see such a large band play such a small venue.
Keane has come a long way since they initially made their way into the spotlight, when they were partially regarded as Coldplay’s younger brother with the chubby kid with an angelic voice. Since then, they have trimmed up and developed a more rock orientated sound while still keeping the elements that made them big in the first place.
With a new album (named Strangeland) in tow, the band broke their sxsw virginity at the courtyard, delivering a solid set of new and old . It’s interesting to see the progession of Tom Chaplin, the lead singer. Infinitely more confident and with a bevvy of rock star experience, Tom moves around the stage with a purpose and delivers his tender vocals with just the right amount of sass. With the piano prominently sitting on the stage, the group previewed some tracks off the new album (including a certain track that I’m sure was Springsteen inspired) but it was the older tracks like Is It Any Wonder that had the crowd singing along.
The track “Somewhere Only We Know” ended off the set. What a closer. It’s one of those songs that is quite wordy in nature but for some reason you know all the lyrics. It’s a fantastic track, induced a Cedar Courtyard singalong and you can’t really beat that kind of experience.
Keane plays Stubbs tonight at 11pm or midnight.