Muse at o2 arena – 12th November

Muse: Matt fires a green laser

Muse were the first band i saw when I was growing up, back in the days when they were playing at Brixton Academy for two nights. Now they’ve headlined all the major festivals and played at Wembley Stadium, it seems like their growth is limitless (they’re playing Wembley Stadium again, looks like there’s no other venue more suitable for their fanbase in London). Anyway, enough mindless banter… bring on the review and photos for the 12th night.

Muse at o2: Dom Howard

Support came from The Big Pink, I saw them playing at Field Day beforehand and kinda knew what to expect. However the strobe lights really didn’t do them any good since frustrated giggers were forced to squint or close their eyes throughout their ravelike show. After the Big Pink it was a case of waiting around for Muse to appear.

The seats I had were bouncy and I was with great company (muse board/wiki staff). I managed to speak to a lot of folks who i keep seeing at Muse aftershows/shows and got to catch up with them about life and such. Halfway through the interval me, Olly, and two other ladies managed to orchestrate a full on mexican wave with the crowd which lasted about 4-5 revolutions before dying out. It kinda felt awesome being the person who started it off for the evening. The long 360 LED banners showing endless advertisings kept throwing me off on when Muse were about to start. Typically the show starts when the lights go out but throughout the wait, we were misguided by those damn LED banner things which sometimes stopped showing ads for a few seconds, the luminance wasn’t there forcing you to look up only the find no band around just yet… grr curse you advertising.

Anyway, eventually the lights go off and BOOM! Muse are about to begin… BOOM

Muse live at o2 TASER AHOY

The three towers on stage start to illuminate and show silhouettes of people climbing up an escalator to the song We Are The Universe which consists of synth arpeggios sounding similar to their first single off The Resistance, Uprising. The show begins when the folks climbing the escalator starts tumbling down and the cloth/curtain covering the stands descends, revealing the band (man that’s hard to explain, go watch a youtube video).

Muse at o2

Hmm.. a photo of them three on the stands would explain things more wouldnt it?

Uprising is definitely a nice way to start the show, people are chanting and singing the words to the song as front man Matt Bellamy sings and pouts with his futuristic blue space glasses that flashes uncontrollably (even during bedtime!). The sound in this venue was spot on, nice thumping bass with tight drums accompanying the vocal wailage.

The set continues with Resistance and then New Born. This is where the stands starts descending down to ground level for the band to rock on the rest of the stage. Shows are fun when there’s levels involved, a good example would be crazy german metal(?) band Rammstein :D

Muse at o2: Chris Wolstenholme

After New Born comes Supermassive Black Hole which guarantees to get crowds started, riff wise Matt continues to rock out with the kaoss pad, allowing more dancey influences into the music rather than just pure rock riffage. After that comes Map of the Problematique, followed by Guiding Light. I quite like Guiding Light, it’s the “Invincible” of the new album and just has that stadium feel. Though it’s still no epic rock out track like Stockholm Syndrome or Knights. Sometimes i feel like i’m only liking Guiding Light because others don’t, who knows?

Funny thing about seeing Muse an ungodly amount of times is how easy it is to spot what the next song is based on the little riff or sound they make before the song. Hysteria becomes quite an easy one these days since they’ve introduced Interlude back into the song. Was surprised why they never played it beforehand though.

Muse at o2: Matthew Bellamy

After some guitar rockage, in comes some piano keyage. The piano setup is carefully spliced between instrumental B side song Nishe, a good’un for the oldies during the Showbiz period. Once piano and whatnot are setup we are greeted with United States of Eurasia. This song heavily grows on you live, though it can be slightly corny at times, it carries a lot of anthem esque characteristics that you see in bands like Queen. The end is obviously the most epic part where everyone in the venue starts singing “EURA SIA, SIA, SIA, SIA!”. Heck even the security guards are doing it! (Well not really, but their polo shirts have the words SIA embroiderised on it :P )

Olly isn't Feeling Good

After a piano song we get another piano song (makes sense since it took an interlude to get the thing out there in the first place). Feeling Good comes on predictably (megaphone instantly screams inclusion of Feeling Good). Though a good song and very well known, old muse fans would prefer something less mainstream. Ho hum, i still like it, the cherry blossom video still gets me :) (Not to mention being in the music video(Gargh it’s weird using smilies and brackets at the same time :( ))

Muse: Unintended Bokeh

After “feeling good” (mmm bad puns), Dom requests the crowd to get out their mobile phones for some major LCD/LED backlight swaying. Makes me wonder whether people use lighters still for these occasions.. or muse have simply adapted this old gig habit into a more modernised approach to categorise a “slow” song. Anyway, I spent forever guessing what song it will be (being open minded and thinking it can be ANY slow song rather then basing it on previous setlists) it turns out to be Unintended. I preferred this song the first time I heard it live where Chris plays acoustic guitar and bass pedals whilst Matt simply adds wavey effects on his Aloha Chrome Fender, shining it on people’s faces at the same time. Wasn’t too keen on unintended, would have preferred something like Soldiers Poem or even better, Blackout (with flying ladies). Anyway onwards…

Muse: Helsinki Jam

Next up is Helsinki Jam (mmm jam). This was one of the best parts of the show where Chris and Dom just jam it out whilst the stand rotates for everyone to see like a music box. Makes you wonder if Muse would release a music box with Chris and Dom jamming/rotating inside of it(this is the point where I send an email to Muse Management suggesting the idea). This rotating jam interlude is followed by Undisclosed Desires. I’m a bit confused as to why a jam is needed before Undisclosed Desires, setup wise, not musically. For Nishe it was understandable there so people can setup the Kawai piano on the stage but for Undisclosed Desires it’s merely Matt strapping on a keytar. Perhaps he’s taking the time to practice his “moves” during the song?

Muse: Matthew Bellamy

Undisclosed Desires, the second single off the album The Resistance sexes up the venue, though it might be Matt’s robot dance during the interludes… don’t think we’ll ever know mind. After a new’un we get back to some old classics including TITS clapping Starlight, major jumping Plug in Baby and grooving Billy Jean style Time is Running Out.

Muse: Feedback & Reflection

Muse play a “final” track Unnatural Selection which gets everyone all kinds of pumped up, it’s one of those reminder songs that reassures you why you still love the band. The track is just pure rocking out-age which we’ve all grown to love, bring on the mosh pits.

The band comes back for an encore, starting off with Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture). The eerie track is accompanied by videos of people free falling from the skies, giving you an “out of body” experience when listening to it. However instead of jumping into the second part of the symphony (wait for an orchestra to hear Exogensis in full) they rock us out some more with Stockholm Syndrome. The finale ends with Chris playing Man with a Harmonica (on his harmonica) before breaking into Knights of Cydonia, THE song to go out in (unfortunately, the Resistance didn’t really have a good live ending song that could top Knights of Cydonia). Fans in the know start galloping like mad in their pretend steeds (or even better, their spouses) whilst seating fans bounce on their ever so bouncy chairs (THAT’s if they’re still sitting down, most seating fans were up from the beginning). The show ends with a lovely spray of man juice smokey smoke smokerson and it’s “cheers” from the band.

Muse at o2: Happy Dom

Despite the predictable setlist that fans have been commenting on throughout the tour, I felt it was nonetheless a stellar show. It doesn’t take a genius to see how much effort was put into making the set and crafting the songs which they hardly had time to rehearse in the first place due to supporting u2 in the states. The videos were eerie and fitting with the music and the transitions from song to song were nice and smooth. Muse have done a good job in satisfying both the new and old fans for this show, not to mention proving to us that they’ve still got the innovation in designing sets that you would not see in ordinary shows. Keep up the good work and see you at Wembley Stadium (or the review for the 13th date haha)

More photos on flickr
More gig info on musewiki
More muse on muse

8 responses | reply | comment feed

  • Solange says:

    What a fantastic review! I agree with your preference on Soldiers Poem or Blackout instead of Unintended because funny enough me and others in the crowd said the same thing. They have so many great songs and it will always be hard to please everyone. I do hope they vary their set a bit more specially for the fans that are always there.
    It was truly a fantastic night and I hope I am alive to get to Wembley. Thanks for the amazing read.

    • crazybobbles says:

      You could tell that they’ve tried to include more songs into the mix though, for instance, songs that just have videos of them playing are most likely new additions since they dont have the time to create videos for it. the lifts and whatnot would have to planned out as well.

  • Droste says:

    At the o2, Dublin, we did indeed use lighters for “Unintended”…
    Though it was a little bit scary when everyone in the pitt did it too, we were crammed in and I admit it was unnerving to see flames so near my heavily-hairsprayed head.
    But yeah, thanks for the great review! It was an enjoyable read.

  • Stove says:

    Haha, the wave was your doing?

    I missed my train ‘cos of Knights :D Stupid brilliant song.

    • crazybobbles says:

      Yup, it took several tries to get everyone going, the initial wave lasted a block and a bit before dying off but eventually it worked perfectly and the wave was going on like a motherbitch! another friend claimed she made the wave but it was definitely us because we were the ones that counted people off and she couldn’t have timed it to be the same as us! ^_^

    • Tene says:

      We were all looking to the left for the wave to emerge … but the VIP suites turned out to sustain it–the wave went anti-clockwise.

      Felt quite awesome ^.^ But yeah, it was Olly and a girl behind us’ work. Can’t remember which one initiated the attempt, though Olly was the one doing the countdown.

  • leenca says:

    Thank you for this, Bobbles (: The first thing in a while I read with care and undivided attention :P

sing a song here!