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Friday, March 19, 2010

Show Review: Muse - Houston, TX (3/18/2010)

The first time I saw Muse live was just a few months ago when they opened for some really bad band with a douchy lead singer.  It wasn't the best way to see the band, as I later acknowledged.  What I really wanted - what I've wanted for years - was to see Muse headline their own show in a venue that suited them.  I believe that last night's show is probably as good as it's likely to get!

From all my experiences seeing Muse perform live (Hullaballoo Soundtrack, HAARP, and the U2 show), the thing that has always stood out to me was how the band is able to change up their sound in almost every song.  On the albums, Muse rocks!  In concert, they rock harder; largely because Matthew Bellamy seems to be ad-libbing guitar riffs constantly.  As a result, a 4 year old song like "Supermassive Black Hole" sounds fresh and exciting - not like something you've been hearing from Twilight fans' Honda Civics.

While my seats may not have been optimal (how presale tickets get you such crappy seats is beyond me), seeing Muse headline their own show was a great experience!  The set was fairly epic, despite my initial reservations.  Three regular ol' skyscrapers turned out to be giant moving platforms for each member of the band to perform on.  Despite the coolness of that, the best moments of the show was when the band was performing on the same stage together, not 10 years away from one another on separate platforms.

The best song of the night?  That's a toss up between "New Born" and "Stockholm Syndrome."  I'm continually disappointed by some of their newer songs live, specifically "Undisclosed Desires" which just continues to sound like an empty, unfinished Muse song.  "Unnatural Selection" was pretty lame as well, but I eventually warmed up to "Guiding Light" halfway through the song.  I was a little surprised to hear the band playing a bunch of interludes made up of other rock songs as well (including AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix), despite the fact that it was fairly awesome!

I'm still not entirely sold on seeing Muse live in an arena.  It makes me feel so disconnected from the band when I'm not down on the floor rocking out up against the stage.  But for what it's worth, I had a great time last night!  Of course, if any of you can get to Austin tonight to see them in a VERY intimate venue...uhh, you should already be in line for that.  Get going!!

Set List:
1. "Uprising"
2. "Resistance"
3. "New Born"
4. "Map of the Problematique"
5. "Supermassive Black Hole"
6. "Guiding Light"
7. "Falling Away With You (Interlude)"
8. "Hysteria"
9. "United States of Eurasia"
10. "Feeling Good"
11. "Bass/Drum Duet"
12. "Undisclosed Desires"
13. "Starlight"
14. "Unnatural Selection"
15. "Plug in Baby"
16. "Exogenesis: Symphony, Overture" (Encore)
17. "Stockholm Syndrome" (Encore)
18. "Knights of Cydonia" (Encore)


Anonymous said...

I attended the show last night. I consider myself sort of a "veteran" Muse concert goer. The first time I saw them was at the U of H theater. Where they played for maybe 200 people. After that I've been lucky enough to see them everytime they've come through Houston (including opening for the god awful MCR). I had general admission tickets. So I was on the floor and can say that this was by far the best Muse show I've ever seen. They were on top of they're game and gave a phenomenal performance. Had I only seen them open for U2 and had crappy seats, I may have agreed with you. But from where I was standing, it was great!

Double Hawk said...

I saw them in New York 2 weeks ago. The place I was sitting still allowed me to feel "there", and not isolated, but I agree, a smaller venue would've been better. I thought Plug in Baby was best. That was the best concert I've ever been to.