23 Music Muse rock Wembley like only Gods can
Having been left speechless for several weeks, Editor Daniel Lynch’s professional career was in jeopardy. Luckily he snapped out of it to write this.
Few trips start as terribly as mine. Upon excitedly arriving at the air- port, tickets in hand and all packed and ready to go, we didn’t think anything could go wrong. Muse tickets for Wembley were a Christ- mas gift to one of my best friends, and disgust doesn’t begin to de- scribe my feeling for Ryan Air or UK immigration. Her travel docu- mentation was rejected, and after a lot of coaxing, I was sent jetting off solo. At the risk of turning the best concert I ever witnessed into a sui- cide note, I will leave the rest of the travel details out. As a synopsis; Daniel was very sad until the loud music started. Wembley stands a testament to
modern engineering, as a gargan- tuan feat of peak efficiency and style. Warm up band We Are Ar- rows made little dent on the vacant space in front of them. Generic indie filler music, they thankfully left the stage before anyone had to take drastic action. The lead singer had the cheek to be antagonistic to the crowd when they couldn’t be bothered singing his half arsed Tears for Fears cover.
Biffy Clyro expectantly played
mostly songs from their huge re- cent albums, which disappointed a lot of fans. But unlike the plebeian Oxford rejects before them, they did fill the mammoth stadium in front of them with blessed rock. More relaxed with the setting, and not afraid to own the stage, Simon Neil buzzed around in jubilant fashion. His bleached hair and beard gave him a serious Super Saiyan look but spurred not a sin- gle power ball.
Having seen Muse on three oc-
casions previous to this one, I felt comfortable I knew what to expect. In a sense I wasn’t wrong. I could have predicted a lot of the set lists and even the riffs that extend songs, sometimes for several min- utes. But the buzzing in my fin- gers, the rasp in my voice and the cold sweat on my brow after it had ended was in a word, unique.
Being a nerd, I had read of the
gimmicks ready to be employed. This did little to dampen my adren- aline fuelled enthusiasm as 40 or so masked rebels surrounded the stage. Clad in red and black attire, the Gap revolutionists held banners with Muse lyrics and screamed into the audience. As a set up, it made the distance between the crowd and band seem nonexistent, fans on the same stage as their he- roes. ‘Uprising’ and Matt’s double necked guitar sends Doctor Who- esque tones reverberating through the electric crowd. They ended the song with a trademark heavy reprise of their solo.
What makes Muse work live is
a multi faceted thing. Their fans are some of the most loyal and devote and this often leads to critics com- plaining Muse don’t try hard enough. The live extensions of their songs have been around for a while. When Matt played the same “improv” he played in Wembley three years previous I laughed. That was until I noticed he was playing it slightly faster and with new grace notes and licks. The overall effect was a different sound. This sums up technically a lot of how Muse operates.
Muse play songs live with the
intention of getting it perfect. They seek to play well rehearsed pieces, but hope that live, each experience is unique. When ‘Citizen Erased’ screeched from Matt’s MB 1 gui- tar, I could have been twelve and listening to Origin of Symmetry for the first time again. Remember the last album that was just perfect, and nothing in your head will ever top it. Muse look to replicate that live. Live, I get from Muse what albums don’t generally do any- more.
The stage set up was 1984
themed. Muse played from the cor- ner of a ripped open Ministry of Truth. Muse gets away with their politics a lot, because it’s often tongue in cheek. Their ominous stage had the appearance of watch- ing the crowd, emphasised as bal- loons with eyes descended upon the masses, bursting with confetti. The theme of being watched, rebel-
lion and questioning reality all fed into the ‘Augmented Reality’ stage approach. Interestingly their 1984 theme goes back several albums, as their especially carefully crafted set list demonstrated.
They had a giant ‘Space Ship’
fly over head, and so distracted was I, that I failed to realise ‘Stock- holm Syndrome’ had broken out! Dom and Chris got the centre stage for a change too as their moving panel moved out into the middle of the pitch and rose up above the crowd. As Dom pounded his LED laden drum, each beat accentuated in vibrant colour, and Chris played complex scales, I was blissfully happy. It was over the top, near Spinal Tab brilliance.
The Resistance as an album is
unfairly criticised for essentially not being a guitar riff album of old. But songs like ‘Resistance’ and ‘Undisclosed Desires’ add needed variety to the live act. When the band inevitably plays some of their piano tracks, it is also licence to catch a breather before the next riff
September 28th 2010
rampage descends. What Makes Muse work live?
Simply, the sum of their parts, are as great as the whole. This love let- ter is not meant to sway over new fans, merely to stand as my most objective attempt at analysing what makes Muse succeed live. They don’t talk to the crowd much. Commentators seem to think this is a bad thing. I pay good money to see God play ‘Plug in Baby’, not ask about my day.
If you have never seen Muse
live I encourage you to try and see them. Muse is our generations live band. Yes that cliché is well worn, but Muse is built for settings like only Wembley can offer. The other opening acts seemed humbled by the occasion, or at least indebted to a legendary stadium. For Muse, Wembley is in their debt.
To those interested, my spare
ticket now acts as the world’s most expensive book mark for my won- derful friend Tanya! Not the same without you!
Matt sets about making Spinal Tap seem tame in conparison. Photo: Danny North Natural progression
Music Editor Mike McCarthy reviews The Script’s new Album “Science and Faith”
The second instalment from The Script is a natural progression from their first album, their self titled debut, which was released in 2008. Science and Faith has many of the same charms as their debut album. There is definitely a feeling of west coast American pop meeting hon-
est –to-God Wicklow love songs. Science and Faith shows that there is a place for Irish lads to sing to the masses about the harder parts of love in a style that ensures it’s easier on the ear.
Although the lead singer Danny O’Donoghue sounds more like our cousins over the Atlantic Sea, his voice is flawless in this album. He hits high and low notes with such ease that you’d forget he was a na- tive of Ireland. The pop band has broken the mould of Irish “boy- bands”. Although their lyrics are written to perhaps touch younger hearts, there is something really raw and natural about this band.
The Irish trio have some great pop numbers on this album. Tracks like Nothing, This=Love and If you Ever Come Back are sure to join the signature single of this album, For the First Time as big hits for the band just as their debut albums singles were. The flow in this album is great even though most of the lyrics and ideas behind the songs are not exactly the happiest, one can still listen to this album right through even and enjoy it. It’s a great one to listen to while preparing the dinner.
As I’m not the biggest fan of this genre I’ll give the album 8 out of 10. It’s a full, smooth pop album from an Irish band trying to break away from previous Irish male conglomerates like Westlife and Boyzone. Will I remember this album in twenty years and revel about it to my mates over a few beers, I doubt it but for what it is, it’s great.
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