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Keane @ Berkeley Community Theatre

Tuesday, May. 10, 2005 - 7:39 a.m.

As my regular readers know, I am a tremendous fan of the British pop trio Keane. I've been a big fan of theirs since last spring, when my friend Todd Thalimer recommended I listen to a song called 'Somewhere Only We Know' on VRUK. That started me down the pathway. I've seen Keane five times. June 1, 2004 at the Cafe du Nord, June 7, 2004 at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver with Todd, then on September 10, 2004 at Bimbo's, and December 2, 2004 at The Fillmore.

This time would be my fifth. I had signed up for the Keane newsletter, and when I heard they were confirmed for Coachella, I started looking for appearance dates in late April or early May.

Sure enough, Keane announced a May 6, 2005 show at the 3500-seat Berkeley Community Theatre. But they didn't announce it to the general public until March 13; they sent the newsletter subscribers a ping on March the 8th. I ordered four tickets from Rag And Bone on March 8, which happens to also be the birthday of Tom Chaplin, Keane's lead singer.

March and April seemed to drag by, except for the week of my birthday, and FINALLY the day of the concert arrived. I'd purchased a total of eight tickets, four in advance and four during the sale to the general public. I figured at least one set of four would arrive in time, and if I ended up with all eight tickets, I'd see if I could distribute them via Craigslist.

I did in fact end up with all eight tickets. I was able to sell two of the four general public tickets, and I've got two left for my scrapbook. The four pre-sale tickets ended up being in row B, over by the stage right speaker stack, less than twenty feet away from the stage, and less than forty feet away from the performers.

We invited two friends -- Bruce Meservey, who had seen Keane with us in September, and Peter Wong, who has patiently been listening to me prattle about Keane all summer and winter and spring. They came to our place at six pm, and we all were stuffed into the car and on the road by six-fifteen.

The traffic turned out not to be so bad, and we managed to get to the parking garage in around an hour. We got into the theatre where I was very pleasantly surprised when the staff did not pat for cameras, found our seats by fifteen minutes of eight, and were in plenty of time to enjoy the opening act, Brendan Benson:

Brendan Benson was pretty good. The crowd filled in while he was playing, and the changeover took about thirty minutes.

But at last, Keane took the stage.

The show was a mix of old and new songs; at one point, we were invited to sing along during 'Somewhere Only We Know'.

The stage show was really beautiful with lights and fog:

Their appearance at Berkeley was the first time since the start of this part of the tour that they had been able to utilize a big stage and go ahead and use the entire effects package, and it was, well ... effective.

During the song 'Bedshaped', there's a line about white light, and this is what the stage looked like:

And this picture below was taken by John, who remembered my story about seeing them last June at the Cafe du Nord, which holds about two hundred people if they're really close friends, and so John took a picture of the crowd:

The show was fantastic, and afterwards, guess what we did?

That's right, kids -- we went to Denny's in Pacifica.

It was a really pleasant evening with good friends.

Keane was amazing as usual.


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