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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!

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

 

Video of the Moment #207: Muse

 
By on Monday, 25th January 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

I’m pretty chuffed that I have a general admission ticket to the sold-out arena show at the Patriot Center (Northern Virginia) in the beginning of March. It’ll be my first time seeing Muse, ever. Just a wee bit excited, don’t mind me…and don’t worry, the Washington D.C. branch of TGTF will be covering the gig. So watch this space.

This performance video for ‘The Resistance’ is just what I need to keep me going for the additional month and week I have to get through before I get to see Matt, Chris, and Dom live. The first word that came to mind when I saw it premiere earlier this month on MTV America? Majestic.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtsqT3nOVno[/youtube]

 

Muse / September 2010 UK Stadium Shows

 
By on Wednesday, 18th November 2009 at 3:44 pm
 

Muse have announced a duo of stadium shows to round off next summer.

Tickets for both shows go on sale tomorrow morning (Thursday 19th November) at 9am from this link, or Friday morning at 9am (20th November) from everywhere else. Expect more dates to be added as each one sells out – they sold out two nights at Wembley in 2007, so I don’t see why they can’t do more!

Saturday 4th September 2010 – Lancashire County Cricket Ground
Saturday 11th September 2010 – London Wembley Stadium

 

Video of the Moment #169: Muse

 
By on Thursday, 5th November 2009 at 6:00 pm
 

Here is the video for ‘Undisclosed Desires’, the most decidedly sexy song on Muse‘s latest album ‘The Resistance’. Matt Bellamy is big pimpin’ with snazzy sunglasses and a keytar. Dom Howard is pushing his drum kit around the stage. There’s an odd guitar display in front of bassist Chris Wolstenholme. Then there’s a dancer with big hair and wires all over her body. Strange video? Yes. But if any of Muse’s new songs were to cross over big in America (where most people stupidly still do not know about this band from Devon), this would be the one. Its r&b groove is straight up wicked.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhHhKIa8jbo[/youtube]

Muse‘s single for ‘Undisclosed Desires’, the second single from ‘The Resistance’, will be released as a digital download on 16 November in the UK. It will include remixes from Thin White Duke and the Big Pink.

 

Album Review: Muse – The Resistance

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd September 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Muse (The Resistance cover)In 2006, ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ propelled Devon-trio Muse into a whirlwind of popularity which was ultimately topped off by two monstrous sold-out nights at the then newly-opened Wembley Stadium. TGTF were present at these awesome gigs, and it was clear to all the challenge ‘Black Holes’ left the band facing when it came to making their fifth record.

Three years on and our favourite geeky prog rockers are back with ‘The Resistance’. It scored number one this Sunday.

Looks like they took that challenge with a pinch of salt.

The album kicks off with the fantastic glam-stomper, ‘Uprising’. Space-age synths echoing Doctor Who’s tardis on helium open up the track, as Dom Howard strikes down enthusiastically on those bulky drums. The lyrics of the song are particularly intriguing – suggesting how politically driven the album is going to be. Amid the chorus, Bellamy enthusiastically chants how “they will not force us, they will stop degrading us, they will not control us” – ‘they’ perhaps referring to those “fatcats” in need of a “heart attack”. Matt’s back to his best guitar-wise as full-blown crunky riffs add to the passion of the song, which is desperately crying out for a stadium worthy sing-along.

Indeed, stomping glam-rock has had a clear influence throughout the whole of ‘The Resistance’. The highly dramatic ‘United States of Eurasia’ takes a few tips from Queen’s book with the sudden launch of electric riffs and simultaneous harmonies. Egyptian-stylee instrumentation adds an excitingly exotic feel to the track, while Matt’s falsetto vocals are truly at their best here. Lyrically, the political rebellion theme is continued, with Bellamy asking “must we do as we’re told?”. The gleaming ‘Guilding Light’s’ percussion, meanwhile, is typically power-ballad (*cough* think Cadbury adverts), and an aptly Brian May-esque guitar solo features around midway.

Muse (side)Track two ‘Resistance’ may be an incredibly catchy number, yet it doesn’t provide much space for musical development and would quite happily fit on ‘BHAR’ (the speeding drums and dreamy piano is very ‘Map of the Problematique’). Additionally, ‘Unnatural Selection’s’ punk-come-metal riffs may fly spectacularly at the listener like daggers, but the sound is noticably-nostalgic Muse and not all that innovative. The average ‘MK Ultra’ is similarly not very noteworthy aside from the killer guitar which screams out about the track.

However, excitement is returned to the record with ‘I Belong To You’. The track is infectiously groovy thanks to it’s slick, tap-tap-tap Elton piano. Matt’s vibrato voice perfectly recites the sickly sweet lyrics (“I’ve travelled half the world to say, I belong to you”), before he tumbles all the more dreamily into ‘Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix’, an elegant dalliance with the romantic French language and some glamorous orchestral strings to match.

Muse being Muse however, must end the album in a fabulously O.T.T fashion, this time choosing to close ‘The Resistance’ on a three part symphony titled ‘Exogenesis’. The 13 minute piece has been several years in the making. Highly orchestral strings open up the first movement subtitled ‘Overture’, before Matt slowly creeps in with his spine-tingling, yet unfathomably high vocals. Monstrous guitars crunch around in the background, adding a sense of hysteria to the song which is aptly about humans evacuating a destructive Earth in order to find an alternative, more peaceful planet. ‘Exogenesis’ continues with ‘Cross-Pollination’, a romantic, piano-led piece which ultimately explodes into a fire of cinematic noise. Finally, the symphony comes to a close with ‘Redemption’, a heart breaking number led by fragile, weeping violins. The song ultimately rises up from the inital dark, atmospheric grave however, as Matt thought-provokingly cries out “Let’s start over again….This time we’ll get it right…It’s our last chance to forgive ourselves”.

Ludicrously dramatic.

Bloody genius.

Muse‘s new album, The Resistance, is available now from Amazon, iTunes and all good retailers.

 

Video of the Moment #123: Muse

 
By on Sunday, 6th September 2009 at 8:08 pm
 

As some of you who follow me on Twitter will know, last night I went to see Muse in Teignmouth. Apart from a horrible 3 hour journey each way, the evening was completely amazing. I was too busy being squished to a pulp four rows from the front to get many decent pictures, however I can tell you that when you press the Red Button on BBC TV shows from Tuesday you’ll see some great coverage of the show, featuring 10,000 people jumping up and down to Plug in Baby amongst other songs.

This reminded me of the HAARP DVD from Wembley Stadium, which prompted me to post this as Video of the Moment – watch as 90,000 people fill a stadium and jump and and down. Immense.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99I7gpswhQ4[/youtube]

 
 
 

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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.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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