Music Review

Keane shines in tour kickoff at House of Blues

Tom Chaplin (shown in 2010 in London) gave it his all Tuesday.
Ian Gavan/Getty Images/file
Tom Chaplin (shown in 2010 in London) gave it his all Tuesday.

Jet lag agrees with Keane.

Tuesday at the House of Blues, Tom Chaplin, frontman for the British pop-rock group, observed that he and his bandmates had flown in the night before and were still adjusting to the time change, which was making them delirious. He then made a clever pivot amending that statement to say it was really the warmth of the packed house that was making the band “deliriously happy.”

Whether by force of good will or confused body clocks, the group played an exuberant and lengthy, hour-and-45-minute set that naturally engendered the crowd’s enthusiastic ovations and lusty singalongs.


While Keane — now expanded to a quartet with the addition of bassist Jesse Quin — has downsized from the Bank of America Pavilion since its last few visits, nothing was diminished about Chaplin’s infectious enthusiasm and the band’s tight interplay. Tuesday night, Chaplin’s cherubic face was red from strain as he physically threw himself into the band’s catalog of mellifluous piano-driven pop, played with crispness and verve by Quin, keyboardist and chief songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley, and drummer Richard Hughes.

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The 22-song setlist covered all four of the band’s albums, ping-ponging from uptempo anthems like “Bend and Break” and the eruptive “Spiralling,” to tender ballads like “The Starting Line” and the gently surging “Sea Fog,” which showcased the sheer elasticity of Chaplin’s voice.

Although it can be a risk to play too much of a new album, the confidence shown by the band in its most recent effort, “Strangeland,” was apparently not misplaced. While the album has yet to yield a big hit on these shores along the lines of previous radio fodder “Somewhere Only We Know,” “Everybody’s Changing,” and “Is it Any Wonder?,” new tunes like “Silenced by the Night” and “On the Road” were greeted with cheers as loud as any of their better-known predecessors.

It was, as Chaplin noted, an auspicious beginning to Keane’s US tour.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.