Live Review: Muse with Silversun Pickups at Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA – 1 March 2010

By on Wednesday, 3rd March 2010 at 2:00 pm

Set list and photos courtesy of Mary Chang, USA Editor and gigmate extraordinaire.

Somehow, after years of loving British music, neither member of the D.C. branch of TGTF had ever been to a Muse gig, so when they announced they were coming to the Patriot Center, we knew we had to go. Having miraculously managed to get two general admission floor tickets (it sold out within 2 hours of the tickets going on sale), we headed down to the venue nice and early and staked out a spot on the left side of the stage just one row back.

Stood in front of what looked like three skyscrapers, opener Silversun Pickups went on right on time and played a solid 45-minute set, including ‘Substitution’ and ‘Panic Switch’. They weren’t quite my style but they sounded good and they thoroughly entertained the crowd as they filed into the 10,000-seat arena. The best part of their set, for me, was lead singer and guitarist Brian Aubert’s quips between songs, like “this is our second show on this tour – the band, not you guys – you don’t remember last night? You were reeeaaalllly drunk.” Plus, they get bonus points for having a female bassist and being unfazed by such a huge crowd.

After a 45-minute break, during which Mary and I were treated to what I shall refer to as a “smoke machine facial,” the light’s dimmed to thunderous applause from the now-packed arena. In quite possibly the best gig opening I have ever witnessed (and I’ve been to a LOT of gigs), they dropped the building-looking cloths to reveal each of the 3 band members in the middle of their own massive column with video screens on all sides, at least 6 metres up from the stage. With that, they launched straight into ‘Uprising,’ whipping the crowd into a chanting, fist-pumping frenzy. Throughout the show, they raised and lowered the bottom half of these columns, allowing the band to either seem to float above the crowd or to walk around the massive oblong stage.

These video columns were the biggest part of the set, but every aspect of the setup was spectacular: there were spotlights, lasers, a piano with a see-through lid and a rotating drum kit (not to mention Matt’s bedazzled leather jacket and trousers). But the real highlight for me was during the amazing ‘Time is Running Out,’ when they released giant balloons into the crowd that looked like eyeballs. When the balloons popped, they showered the crowd with red confetti. It was so much fun trying to hit the balloons that I nearly knocked off Mary’s glasses in a fit of joy.

They played all the crowd favorites, like ‘Supermassive Black Hole,’ ‘Resistance’ and ‘Starlight,’ plus ‘Knights of Cydonia’ in the encore, and in every song Matt, Chris and Dom played insanely well while acting like it was nothing – they’re just that badass. Their playing on ‘New Born’ was particularly spectacular, and Matt Bellamy has a surprisingly versatile and powerful voice live. In one of my favorite moments, Matt brought out his keytar and strutted about the stage playing the incredibly sexy ‘Undisclosed Desires’ (however, Mary argues that ‘Plug in Baby’ is far sexier). And Muse’s show is undeniably sexy: it’s the result of what happens when you successfully straddle that fine line between confidence and arrogance. They are extravagant and over-the-top, but they don’t take themselves too seriously, and because of that, the show is so much fun for the audience. It’s impossible to come out of a show that fun and not be entirely smitten with the band, so if you have not seen Muse live yet, then by all means, GO!

After the cut: set list and more photos!

Silversun Pickups Photos:

Muse Photos:

Muse Set List
New Born
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole (prefaced by a wicked, wicked guitar intro a la Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker’)
Guiding Light
United States of Eurasia (no piano outro)
Feelin’ Good (Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse cover)
Helsinki Jam
Undisclosed Desires
Plug in Baby
Time is Running Out
Unnatural Selection
Stockholm Syndrome
Knights of Cydonia

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2 Responses

10:04 pm
27th April 2010

Very informative article. I’ve found your blog via Google and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Kmelon browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

2:38 am
27th November 2010

[…] Live Review: Muse with Silversun Pickups at Patriot Center 3 Mar 2010. TGTF's DC branch witnesses the musical force that is Muse for the very first time, in one of the smallest venues on their current trek Live Review: Muse with Silversun Pickups at Patriot Center […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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