Muse Manchester Old Trafford Cricket Ground 4-9-10
Booooooooooooooooooom. Masked flag bearers, smoke and lights. The wail of Bellamy’s tortured guitar fills the air, joining the boom of Chris’s bass and the thud-tish of Dom’s hammered drumkits.
This is the opening to one of, if not the, best live music show I have ever been privileged to witness.
Muse enter the stage amid the madness of Uprising, one of the more rebellious tracks from the newest album The Resistance. Immediately, near enough 50,000 fists thump the air to join the rebellion. “They will not force us, they will stop degrading us….”
The opener leads the way to two hours filled with 20+ tracks of the highest theatrics and amazement the cricket ground has ever seen, and enough lighting effects to stall the national grid.
Hits stream from the three piece, once described as a low-rate Radiohead wannabe band, as they play so ferociously it is as though this is their last ever gig. It is easy to see why they have won best live act (NME awards, BRIT awards, Kerrang awards to name a few) consistently over the past eight years.
The crowd are wowed not only to tracks from the last three, more successful albums (The Resistance has topped the chart in 21 countries and reached number 3 in the USA) but to a few choice surprises such as NewBorn from the 1999 album Showbiz.
Citizen Erased, the only song that was missing from the band’s last visit to Manchester, reached intergalactic proportions, to the extent that Matt announced the he shall change the website “from Muse.mu to citizenerased.com!”. Awesome.
It is difficult to single out one key moment of the night, there are so many. Guiding Light, with its lasers, lighting and an explosion of ten foot long streamers over the audience, was enough to give even the most hardened spectator goosebumps.
Magical moment number two came with Starlight. At one point Matt stopped singing to let the crowd take the reigns, everyone was on song. Something enchanting about being part of Matt Bellamy’s enticing vocals, the epic Muse soundscape and heart-wrenchingly romantic lyrics, “hold you in my arms, I just wanted to hold you in my arms,” whilst being held by the one you love.
A moment that will stay with me for a long time.
Supermassive Black Hole, Time Is Running Out and the encore based Plug In Baby upped the tempo, bounce along classics, I defy anyone to have stood still. In fact I am certain it was impossible thanks to the volume and vibrations from the bass and drums.
The first encore began with Take A Bow, in pitch darkness with Matt in a suit made of flashing LEDs and matching sunglasses suspended over the crowd on a UFO like platform, previously seen in the set for a mind-blowing interlude from Chris and Dom. Come on, it wouldn’t be Muse without a UFO somewhere.
Encore number two, the theatrical rick opera stylings of Knights of Cydonia, ending on an equally dramatic plateau as the opener.
How the band are not as revered as bands such as U2 or Queen I will never know. Dom summed the bands fame up in a recent interview, describing them as “the biggest non-famous band in the world.”
I could harp (pardon the pun) on about them for page after page, but I suppose that I should sum things up around about now.
Dom Howard, Matt Bellamy and Chris Wolstenholme are completely, utterly and unequivocally the kings of the live show.