As mentioned on Facebook and Twitter, I spent Wednesday night at Radio City Music Hall at a concert with British band Keane. It was a freakin' blast! I haven't done a concert in years. I guess that last one was Suzanne Vega in August 2003 right after I moved here to Hartford. I'm trying to think if I've been to anymore in the last six years, and I don't think I have. And that's a shame because this was so much fun.
It was a sold out show, and the place was packed by the time Keane came on stage. I had a great seat almost right in the center of the first mezzanine. I arrived before the first opening act, The Heilo Sequence. I'd never heard of them, but I really liked the Oregon duo. Reading about them online, I see that they are put in the electronica category, which probably explains why I felt drawn to them. The second opening act was Matt Kearney, who was also cool, a bit too folky for my personal taste, but a good fit for the tour and a good show nonetheless.
Keane just came right out with lights flashing and the video screens going and the music loud, loud, loud. People were cheering and standing. I've read in other places that some people were asked to sit down, which strikes me as insane for a rock conert. No one in the two rows in front of me stood up until the very end, so I stayed seated, but I certainly wasn't sitting still. When I knew the words, I would sing at the top of my lungs, but I could barely hear myself. Still, when thousands of people started singing together, you could hear and feel it.
Their second album, Under the Iron Sea, is one of my favorites, and after a few listenings, I started getting into their most recent, Perfect Symmetry. Or at least I've been getting into the first half, which contains the songs that they've released as singles. I will fully admit that I had tears running down my face after they broke out into their biggest US hit, "Somwhere Only We Know," which is an emotional song that has always hit me a certain way. And then they slid right into "Crystal Ball," which is probably my favorite song on the second album. The crowd got louder and more energetic and just went crazy. But nowhere near as crazy as we all got when they came out for the second encore.
See, by the end of the first encore, they have played all the songs everyone expected them to play. So when the lights stayed down after the first encore, I could see people looking at each other. And one of the girls next to me asked her friend what they could do next. I wondered if they were going to repeat something. But Keane came out an started the familiar bassline to "Under Pressure," and that got everyone standing and cheering and singing along.
I'd gotten there about 6:40 and didn't leave until after 11:00, and it was a blast. I loved it so much that I bought a ticket to Depeche Mode at Madison Square Garden this coming August. I got a ticket at the very, very top of the place, so I'll be miles away from them, but it wasn't that expensive, but it'll still be loud enough to hear and join in the fun.
I've just got to start doing things like this more often.