New York Irving Plaza

[b]Keanu[/b] is still the main draw...

Don’t love them because he’s beautiful. That’s exactly what [a]Dogstar[/a] – AKA Keanu Reeves‘ pet project – doesn’t want now that its first full-length album, Happy Ending, is being released in the U.S., and the band is on a quest for credibility. So listen to the music, man, and then decide: do you dig [a]Dogstar[/a], or is Keanu your king?

From the scene at Irving Plaza tonight, it seems Reeves is still the main draw. The 35-year-old star shies away from the spotlight, never once addressing the crowd, and staying off to the side, but all eyes are fixed on him anyway. Photographers cluster around his feet like ducklings following their mother, and personal cameras pop constantly.

The songs battle with the actor for the crowd’s affections, with Reeves winning every time. He does nothing to deserve this special attention; the music just isn’t strong enough to wrest the attention away from his celebrity. Go to any campus and there it is blasting from the frat house: bland college rock that’s lovesick at its core.

It’s not for a lack of trying, though. Singer/guitarist Bret Domrose and drummer Rob Mailhouse show lots of spirit, and Domrose makes a valiant effort to engage the crowd with small talk. The reserved Reeves also looks like he’s enjoying himself and bows to the crowd appreciatively – a tiny gesture the fans love.

The hour-long set relies on material from the new album, including the first single, ‘Cornerstore’, and a cover of The Carpenters‘Superstar’. A two-song encore means its time for the half-full house to say goodbye to the star in [a]Dogstar[/a].

When it ends, there are flowers waiting at his feet.