Fans of '80s new wave may compare Keane to Ultravox, or Marillion. In other words: a band that has been hugely successful in their native Britain, but only managed a strong but loyal cult following in the U.S. Keane, however, has managed to gain airplay in America, something that eluded their predecessors. Indeed, their last two albums peaked in the Top 10 here. Fitting nicely with the likes of their countrymen Radiohead and Coldplay, Keane have stood apart from their contemporaries with their "guitar-less" rock. "It wasn't something we planned," says multi-instrumentalist Tim Rice-Oxley. Originally a quartet, the lifelong friends decided to soldier on as a trio after guitarist and co-founding member Dominic Scott left in 2001. "From there we sort of found our niche." Their influences are wide-ranging, from the '60s pop/rock of the Beatles to the dance stylings of the Pet Shop Boys. "I remember they were the first group I really got into apart from my parents' collection," Rice-Oxley says of the latter. "Richard Hughes, our drummer, and I used to listen to them for hours." Along with lead singer Tom Chaplin, the future pop stars discovered a love of music and early on laid the foundation for the band. Opening for Keane at their First Ave show will be Ingrid Michaelson and Fran Healy. 18+.
Wed., Aug. 11, 6 p.m., 2010

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