Grabbing tickets to see Muse was pretty much a no-brainer. I'd already seen them twice and, despite the changes they've made with their music, I am still willing to attend their shows. And then, big surprise, they added a night at Sunrise in South Florida (this is kind of a big deal; they don't come down here often).
I'd heard plenty of great things about the show before I even drove up to the BB&T Center. Lasers, strobe lights, crazy set up with lots of display panels, and a set list that varies a bit from show to show. It had the potential for greatness and, in fantastic Muse fashion, delivered.
The first majorly positive thing about seeing Muse live is that their show is on time. We're used to seeing 7:30 on a ticket and resigning to the fact that the show probably won't start until 9 or beyond. At 7:30, the opening act was rockin', and we didn't have to wait too long before Muse strode on stage after that. They wowed everyone with their spaceship-like stage set up, which featured a ring of panels (served as screens) and lights, with the drum kit on a raised platform in the middle and an extra tour member next to that with the synthesizer.
After the first number ("Unsustainable"), we see that the rigging over the stage was another series of screens which, accordion-like, stretched down over Dom and the drum kit at the center of the stage. The screens and the overall feel of the stage with its lights and many panels changed for every song, creating a unique experience every time. At one point, the stage even turned into an elaborate roulette with the song "New Born" assigned to red and "Stockholm Syndrome" to black, as the game randomly chose which song would be played next. "Syndrome" won, but I think the crowd would have still cheered just as loudly for "New Born."
They didn't spend too much time talking, instead inserting lovely little instrumental interludes between chunks of their set list. First, it was Matt Bellamy with an electric "Star-Spangled Banner" to segway into "Bliss," and later Chris took out his harmonica and played a bit before cruising into "Knights of Cydonia." Dom got his spotlight for the first encore, which featured him in a Game of Death-style track suit (except red) on the video screen, banging on a taiko drum to the beat of "Uprising" and fighting off chumps while the band was concealed in a pyramid of screens. The screens eventually rise up again and give way to the players, and Dom actually comes out in the red suit and keeps it for the remainder of the show.
There were lasers, there were lights... even the Baby Grand that Matt Bellamy brought out to play just one song with had some lights on it. It was pretty rad, actually. The lights came up on the piano's lid as he struck the keys! I just wish he'd sat down to play more, but then I suppose there'd have been no point to the fourth band member on stage. That or he'd have to brush up on his piano-and-guitar-together playing skills.
Even if you aren't so hot on Muse's newer music from Black Holes and beyond, I still think they're worth watching live. They never cease to impress, and they always dedicate plenty of show time to their older albums that we all know and love. Here's a look at the set list for the South Florida show with a few notes here and there:
- 1) Unsustainable
- 2) Supremacy
- 3) Supermassive Black Hole
- 4) Panic Station
- 5) Resistance (big whoop from the crowd when this started; lots of dancing)
- 6) Beautiful Star-Spangled Banner interlude - to Bliss
- 7) Animals (the stage turned into a stock market-looking thing for this one)
- 8) Chris played a harmonica intro then - Knights of Cydonia
- 9) Monty Jam
- 10) Explorers (performed by Matt on the piano)
- 11) Follow Me
- 12) Liquid State (sung by Chris)
- 13) Madness
- 14) Undisclosed Desires
- 15) Time is Running Out (everyone lost their minds when this one came up)
- 16) Stockholm Syndrome (extended outro and stage-exit)
- 17) first encore: Isolated System played on screens before band returned
- 18) Uprising
- 19) second encore: Starlight (cute thing: a girl in the audience was singing and she was put on camera)
- 20) Survival (the most Queen-like song on 2nd law)
Needless to say, I wouldn't hesitate to grab tickets to a future show if I have the chance to see Muse again. From what I can tell, they still have a few stops in Japan this coming August, so I'm already debating grabbing tickets to see this same show in Japan later this year. How cool is that? I've never "followed" a tour anywhere to see more than one stop of the same show before. I wouldn't mind doing that for Muse.
All images in this post are taken with my handy dandy iPhone! Please don't repost without attribution. Thanks!