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Thursday, October 15, 2009

10/14/2009: Muse (w/ Special Guests U2) - Houston, TX

Okay, okay...maybe I got the billing wrong, but in my world that's the way things were last night.  Now I know that the reason 50,000 human beings decided to pay outrageous ticket and parking prices ($20 to park, seriously?) was to see U2 do their thing.  That's great and all.  I was there for the opening act.  That opening act was Muse.

Think back.  Way back.  Back before, well, back before you started reading this blog.  I wrote a list titled the "Top 5 Artists I Absolutely Have to See Live Before I Die!" Muse was on that list, and until last night I had never seen them.  So yeah, it was a big deal for me.  Of course, my seats were in the top section, nosebleed style, so me rocking out on the floor to Muse (the dream, baby) were thwarted early on.  Seriously, check out this view.

No worries though, because when it comes to seeing a show, it's always the music that takes priority.  Muse didn't disappoint.  In my opinion, they completely overshadowed the headlining act on a musical level, which isn't surprising, but still. The band didn't put on quite the spectacle that they're capable of, but that's to be expected seeing as how it's not really their set.  Also expected was the quality of the sound in Reliant Stadium.  It was poor for the most part.  This is why you don't play stadium shows.  Matthew Bellamy's vocals only really stood out from the muddled mix when he sang in his upper registry.  Bono's vocals sounded understandably worse in the mix.  Muse played for about 45 minutes.  Here's the setlist:


Map of the Problematique

Supermassive Black Hole


Undisclosed Desires


Time is Running Out

Plug-In Baby

It was essentially a brief overview of all their commercially successful songs in the United States...+ "Plug-In Baby."  The band did a good job of keeping things interesting, with cool instrumental breakdowns (the one after "Hysteria" was particularly legendary) and awesome new guitar solos.  Overall, a very solid set.  If you were at the show and you're new to Muse, here's a list of their Top 5 Songs I wrote over a year ago.  It still holds up for the most part.  That's a good place to start if you're interested (Absolution if you're looking to buy an album).

Now as far as U2 goes.  They were okay.  They put on quite an amazing show, but I just can't get into their music for the life of me.  Here are a few of my thoughts as the evening progressed:

  • Bono dances like a total Walter.
  • The Edge...seriously?  It's not 1990 anymore.  You can quit wearing the same flannel outfit.
  • Music + politics = church!
  • With the exception of "Vertigo" and "Stuck in a Moment," their best songs are still from over 20 years ago.
  • The crowd, from what I could tell, was really cool.  Not aggressive or pushy, especially on the floor where those things tend to be common.  Way to represent, Houston!
  • I think more people were applauding for the cool set tricks rather than the music.
  • The house music was sweet (MGMT & M83, amongst others)
But as I said, a good show.  A good night.  Thanks to both of the bands for swinging by.


Anonymous said...

You made my Day! I totally agree with you about everything in this article: starting with the name and ending with "Thank you" note:)
MUSE is a great band ever, and I really hope to see them back in Houston (not Reliant Stadium, please) soon with their own concert!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Muse was ok....but please DO NOT DIS U2 -- MUSE is nothing and will never be ANYTHING CLOSE TO U2.

Cale said...

On Muse's HAARP CD/DVD they play and sell out Wembly Stadium in London. Muse is actually more than you give them credit for. They're one of the biggest bands in the world, but they don't have a massive fan base in America.

JoBoDo said...

muse... omg..