Nothing In Their Way As Keane Conquer The O2 On The 20th Anniversary Of Hopes And Fears

Twenty years ago to the day, Hopes And Fears was released into the world, and things would never be the same again for East Sussex quartet Keane. Tonight’s sold-out O2 Arena was the first of a special two-night residency, and latest on their string of sold-out shows for the group across the UK, Europe, and Mexico celebrating the 20th anniversary of their multi-platinum, seminal debut album.

Keane @ The O2

Keane @ The O2 (Abigail Shii)
Keane @ The O2 (Abigail Shii)

Opening duties fell to Wigan indie rock outfit The Lathums, who set the stage ablaze with their distinctive blend of jangly guitars, infectious melodies, and heartfelt lyricism. Showcasing a versatility and maturity far beyond their age, they firmly established themselves as a band to watch, leaving the audience eager for more and setting the perfect tone for the unforgettable night that lay ahead.

  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2
  • The Lathums @ The O2

As the lights dimmed and the opening chords of Can’t Stop Now filled the arena, the excitement reached a fever pitch. Keane, led by charismatic frontman Tom Chaplin, wasted no time in whisking the audience away on a journey through their illustrious career with a clever blend of crowd-pleasing anthems and deeper cuts. Fan favourites like Bend & Break, Everybody’s Changing, and This Is The Last Time were expertly punctuated with newer tracks Perfect Symmetry and Nothing In My Way, showcasing their artistic evolution while still retaining their signature sound.

“Channel your inner Freddie”, invited Chaplin, who effortlessly commanded the thousands-strong crowd to sing along to You Are Young, having evoked a competitive spirit after hailing the Cardiff fans as the best singers on their tour so far. His flawless vocal performance sat beautifully atop the sweeping arrangement of Tim Rice-Oxley’s evocative piano melodies, the driving basslines of Jesse Quin, and Richard Hughes’ rock-solid drumming.

Here was a band that had reflected on the past two decades of their lives and realised how far they had come. It was as though they couldn’t believe it themselves. “On that day, our lives changed very dramatically”, Tom mused, acknowledging the transformative impact of their music. “And amazingly enough, 20 years later, here we are and it still seems to mean as much now as it did back then, maybe more!” Amidst playful banter, he gently urged the crowd to embrace the nostalgia, evoking memories of lighter-lit venues and contrasting them with the sea of smartphones that now illuminated the arena for She Has No Time.

Of course, no Keane concert would be complete without a rendition of their timelessly iconic breakout hit, Somewhere Only We Know. “This is our last song”, he teased of the upcoming encore with air quotes. Reminiscing of the whirlwind that was the last 20 years, his voice tinged with emotion, he extended his appreciation to the loyal fans who had journeyed alongside the band from the beginning, as well as those who had joined along the way.

The night drew to a close with the hometown-inspired Sovereign Light Café, which elicited thunderous cheers with the explosion of confetti, and finally, Bedshaped. This 20th-anniversary celebration wasn’t merely a trip down memory lane; it was a powerful reaffirmation of Keane’s enduring legacy, their music forever etched as the soundtrack to a generation’s hopes and fears. On a day like today, it’s no wonder that they remain one of Britain’s most cherished bands.

  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2
  • Keane @ The O2

Live review of Keane at The O2 Arena, London by Abigail Shii on10th May 2024

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