By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Jun 30, 2006 at 7:51 AM
Three blokes are “Keane” on Milwaukee

Day One of Summerfest is complete and I know I went home happy. By the time the night shows came around, the problems from the electrical related explosion resulting in a black out had been extinguished and it was time to rock out.

After taking in the grounds with its new food stops along with the interesting people, grabbing a yummy, fresh lemonade and experiencing the wonderful fireworks display, I found myself at the headlining show at the U.S. Cellular Stage for Keane’s set.

The blokes from Sussex, England put on an amazing show. Although it would seem the band’s music wouldn’t translate well at the outdoor stage, it was more than adequate. An indoor setting, like at The Pabst or The Riverside (hint hint to those booking acts), would only intensify the experience. (The band has appeared at The Rave in the past.) Especially since an indoor show at one of these locations has assigned seating and you won’t be standing next to a group of people who have had beers ranging in the double digits.

Lead singer Tom Chaplin was on point with every lyric sung. It was a CD quality performance for the entire band.

Opening the show was keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley playing the alien-esque song “The Iron Sea” from Keane’s newly released album “Under the Iron Sea.” Chaplin and drummer Richard Hughes joined him onstage to perform two more songs off of the new CD -- “Put It Behind You” and “Nothing In My Way” -- to start off the set strongly.

Switching gears, the group took to playing three songs off its first CD “Hopes and Fears,” one of my favorites “Bend and Break,” Chaplin’s favorite song that happens to have a sad name “We Might As Well Be Strangers” and the happy-go-lucky “Everybody’s Changing.”

The songs began to blend together after that until the band played its break out single “Somewhere Only We Know” where Chaplin asked the audience to become the assembled choir of Milwaukee. The audience complied, primarily singing along with the chorus.

“Is It Any Wonder?” -- the first U.S. single off of “Under the Iron Sea” -- completed the full set. Chaplin prefaced the song with an explanation of how this was a song written about people questioning their government which got a few cheers from the audience.

A three song encore – “Atlantic,” “Crystal Ball” and “Bedshaped” -- completed the night. However, the band should consider swapping its two best known hits with the last two songs of the night. After the singles were played, people began to filter out quickly to catch shuttles and avoid the rush out of the Summerfest Grounds.

It’s rumored that “Crystal Ball” will be the next single, but I’m partial to “Atlantic” because it is such a haunting and trance-inducing song.

U.S. Cellular needs to look into adding more bleachers to the sides of the stages as well. Shorter people get engulfed by the masses and before you start singing Randy Newman’s “Short People,” I’ll just state I’m not really whining. The Mountain Dew stage has extra bleachers that hardly get used. The popularity of the Cellular stage is growing with this year’s crop of bands, it’s only best to satisfy the masses.

Another surprise was the fact that Keane attracted all sorts of people. An odd number of guys showed up in group and they were just as quick to whip out a camera phone to take photos of the band, dance and sing along as any of the females in the audience.

Keane put on an amazing, high energy show and promised to tell the folks back home about Milwaukee. After last night, I can’t wait for my other Summerfest picks to hit the stages.
Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.