OAKLAND — In the years since disbanding in 2013, U.K. soft rock and melodic pop quartet Keane had only reformed to play a handful of one-off shows. Yet Richard Hughes, Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin and Jesse Quin never officially broke up. Long-time fans of the “Is It Any Wonder” rockers were excited to see some cryptic social media posts at the beginning of 2019 that teased their fifth studio album, Cause and Effect. The band rewarded Bay Area fans with a show at the Fox Theater on Monday.
The new album was Keane’s first new effort since 2012’s Strangeland. During the following years members pursued solo projects, yet those weren’t happy times for Chaplin, who battled a drug addiction, or Rice-Oxley, who went though a messy divorce and got in trouble with the law for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Several of the newer songs seemed to address both of those storylines.
Keane gave each of its albums but one roughly equal billing. The band thoroughly blended in songs, opening with new cut “You’re Not Home,” before dropping in Strangeland‘s “Day Will Come,” Under the Iron Sea‘s Nothing in My Way and Perfect Symmetry‘s “Spiralling.”
Gargantuan hit single “Somewhere Only We Know” rounded out the main set before Chaplin and co. returned to close with a three-song encore that included new song “Chase the Night Away” and fan favorite “Crystal Ball.”
Irish atmospheric folk duo Saint Sister opened the show. Morgan MacIntyre played a keyboard and Gemma Doherty played harp. The two were backed by two other musicians. Their songs blended electro-pop with traditional folk, and one constant highlight was their vocal harmonization on songs like “Eternal Flame,” “Causing Trouble” and new single “Dynamite.”
— Roman Gokhman
Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello.