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Image for Muse @ Acer Arena, Sydney (9/12/10)

Muse @ Acer Arena, Sydney(9/12/10)

There are people, quite a large, vocal number of people, who don’t like Muse. In a way, I sort of wish that the few remaining seats at the trio’s massive stadium gig would have been reserved exclusively for them, because it is literally impossible to argue with a show this entertaining, exhilarating and professional. Having interviewed drummer Dom Howard a few weeks prior, I had a vague idea of the kind of spectacle the UK band would be bringing down under but nothing, not words, pictures or YouTube videos shot on iPhones, can adequately prepare one for a Muse show. Rotating skyscrapers with intricate projections beamed from inside, lasers dotting the nosebleed section with cosmic patterns, shining silver suits , enough End Of The World art direction to make it seem like Pink Floyd never happened…and that’s just the first song.

Make no mistake, Muse are a rock band who know how to put on a rock show. Their gimmicks, wonderful and exciting as they are, are merely a backdrop to this top-notch group of musicians who, having criss-crossed the globe about as many times as Richard Branson, are finally learning to enjoy themselves. It’s that attitude that sees them pull out the pre-millennium classic Sunburn on a grand piano sitting three metres above ground, get their Daft Punk sampling on for Undisclosed Desires and break into post-song-jamming at every opportunity they get. After all, if you’re going to be one of the biggest bands on the planet, you may as well act like a band. Though Matt Bellamy and his co-pilots rarely talk to each other – they are on separate towers after all – the chemistry is palpable. You can feel it more on the heavier tracks, particularly the relentless Stockholm Syndrome and the groovier ones, like Supermassive Black Hole. Though their new material is starting to become a bit same-y, the Muse classics (and they really are classics by now) stick out like a sore thumb in their chosen field. There’s nothing else like Plug In Baby or New Born coming out these days, and Muse don’t let you forget it. All this makes them a real treat to see live.

It’s not good journalistic practise to focus attention more on a frontman, particularly when the band behind him is so good, but Bellamy doesn’t really give punters much of an option. The diminutive musical prodigy is everywhere; running up ramps, sliding down on his knees to perform solos for the audience members sitting behind the stage, using his reflective amp as a beacon and generally commanding far more attention than one would expect from a man widely reported to be an introvert. What Bellamy does have that cannot be denied is one of the most consistently phenomenal voices in rock music. The high notes that he hits, especially while playing complex licks underneath on either piano or guitar, are simply breathtaking. That he does this night after night is a testament to the fact that as grandioise as their material may be, Muse remain fundamentally a killer live band. You only have to watch the oscillating, left-handed syncopation of Howard for proof.

As every new album drops, there will be less material from Origin Of Symmetry and soon, Absolution, too. While that is regrettable, it’s also a fact of life; many of the fans who have been in the moshpit since 6pm are too young to remember either of those albums. That doesn’t matter they won’t go home and discover them later. It just means Muse lean heavily on recent material and work harder to make it fit with the old. They do this with considerable aplomb, and soon the difference between Time Is Running Out and one of the Exogenesis symphonies doesn’t really matter all that much. That’s cemented by the Knights Of Cydonia encore, an innately bizarre song but oh-so-fitting at the same time.

Muse will always straddle the divide between cool and geeky, no matter how many times their songs are used in vampire movies. As we leave the stadium reeling, the one name that emerges in conversations all around us is that of the late Freddie Mercury’s. Certainly Muse have put on a glam show worthy of comparison to their countrymen, Queen. And Bellamy, with his shining falsetto, guitar solos and even shinier pants, could well be the man’s natural successor. We’ll probably find that out for certain on the next Muse tour, which one has little doubt will be on the moon.

Comments

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sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 12th Dec, 2010

great review. i chose to stand on the barrier in front of the chris for the show and do not regret my choice one bit. he doesnt need to slide around in over sized kanye inspired sunnies to be entertaining. his stand and deliver (while headbanging) style is just right.

chico21

chico21 said on the 12th Dec, 2010

awesome review jonno - totally agree. Matt Bellamy is the most talented musician I've seen. he blows me away!

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 12th Dec, 2010

Lol, oh dear. Another wankfest with a Seidler name to it - biiiiiiig surprise.

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 13th Dec, 2010



Really MAB? I actually think this is one of the best live reviews Ive read this year on FL. Great piece of journalism.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

Funnily enough it would seem that Jonno is one of the few FasterLouder writers who is actually graduating to getting published in major publications on a regular basis.

lukey26

lukey26 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

Really hoping to cover tomorrows gig, everything I hear about this tour is positive :)

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 13th Dec, 2010



I think it's one big old hyperbole. I was there on the second night and it was a good gig but not some kind of life-changing experience that this review made it out to be.

It annoys me that reviewers like him get so much attention whereas the better writers like Ginger Ninja get next to no recognition.



It's because he can do gossip and fluff really well, which is what a publication like S in the Sunday Herald is after.
He's about on the same level as the deBrito siblings.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

I disagree. His writing style is engaging and mature and doesn't come across like some kid talking about his favourite band.

chico21

chico21 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

well i thoroughly enjoyed it - and felt the review matched my feeling of the concert that I attended. to me it was almost life-changing - it was one of, if not the best live gig I've been to.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 13th Dec, 2010



http://nsfwsaur.us/images/2010062122552306_1118.jpg

Shieldsy23

Shieldsy23 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

MAB, you have to give them a bit more credit then that, just purely for the show. The lights, columns and lasers were pretty spectacular on their own and thats not speaking for the awesome setlist and awesome musical performances. Only thing you could possibly critisize is that the performance felt a little rushed.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

I wish I went, it's cool to see huge spectacle rock shows every now and again.

I never feel I need much to a rock show, just a tight band. I remember seeing Band of Skulls at the OAF and all they had were standard stage lights and I thought it was so effective.

But I think I missed something special here.

lukey26

lukey26 said on the 13th Dec, 2010

I wish I went, it's cool to see huge spectacle rock shows every now and again.

I never feel I need much to a rock show, just a tight band. I remember seeing Band of Skulls at the OAF and all they had were standard stage lights and I thought it was so effective.

But I think I missed something special here.

Agreed. Having been saving money, I haven't been to as many smaller 'gigs' lately. The last small venue show I saw was Kate Nash back in August. Went to U2 twice, and it was great to see a stadium show after a lack of concerts.

But I've missed the small venue shows, so I'm going to Biffy Clyro at the Hi Fi Bar Melbourne this week, can't wait.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 13th Dec, 2010



I don't have to give them shit. Sure, they're millionaires who can afford lasers and huge towers - but I didn't care about any of that. The best moment of the night was the band on the ground, jamming out Stockholm Syndrome with standard lights. That's what they're about to me - when they were up in the air playing United States of Eurasia all I could think was "fuck it, someone needs to die."

lukey26

lukey26 said on the 13th Dec, 2010



"I hope it's Flanders"

jonnoseidler

jonnoseidler said on the 14th Dec, 2010

@mickrayner85: Guilty as charged. Biffy were awesome but someone obviously forgot to mix them because my ears were bleeding and not in a good way. As for my good friend the troll, thanks to everyone for coming to my defence this time around. I'm sorry my writing isn't up to your standard, maybe next time I can shoot a video of you dancing around like an overweight lemming at Tim & Jean so people can get some real entertainment.

I'm sorry if that seems like a cheap shot but people like sarahanne and Braveheart will back me up here in saying that you've been on my case long enough. It's time to get the fuck over yourself and pick on someone else. You're a scourge on an otherwise wonderful website.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 15th Dec, 2010

Here's a thought: write something that doesn't suck and perhaps there wouldn't be a case to be on. If you ever put your name to something where you didn't feel the need to talk about yourself every paragraph I'd die of shock. You're the scourge, not I.

Appreciate you finally know what the phantom asshole looks like, though - making a joke about my weight definitely has never been done before, and I've certainly never been insulted by pretty-boy cockstains before, so cheers for being a pioneer. Couple of months too late, though, don't you think? xoxo

lukey26

lukey26 said on the 15th Dec, 2010

@mickrayner85: Guilty as charged. Biffy were awesome but someone obviously forgot to mix them because my ears were bleeding and not in a good way. As for my good friend the troll, thanks to everyone for coming to my defence this time around. I'm sorry my writing isn't up to your standard, maybe next time I can shoot a video of you dancing around like an overweight lemming at Tim & Jean so people can get some real entertainment.

I'm sorry if that seems like a cheap shot but people like sarahanne and Braveheart will back me up here in saying that you've been on my case long enough. It's time to get the fuck over yourself and pick on someone else. You're a scourge on an otherwise wonderful website.

Biffy were mixed really well last night at Rod Laver. Seeing them again tonight and tomorrow, so I'll suss out whether or not they had some... recorded help. I sure hope they didn't.

Is the live guitarist they have from Oceansize? My bro said they play with him, and I heard a rumor Oceansize were going to support Muse too. Maybe thats what happened?

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 15th Dec, 2010

I knew that leftie guitarist looked familiar.

dankobiaka

dankobiaka said on the 15th Dec, 2010



+1. Sick to death of MABs pretentious attitude.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 15th Dec, 2010

If it's any consolation, I have absolutely no idea who you are.

jonnoseidler

jonnoseidler said on the 18th Dec, 2010

Here's a thought: write something that doesn't suck and perhaps there wouldn't be a case to be on. If you ever put your name to something where you didn't feel the need to talk about yourself every paragraph I'd die of shock. You're the scourge, not I.

Appreciate you finally know what the phantom asshole looks like, though - making a joke about my weight definitely has never been done before, and I've certainly never been insulted by pretty-boy cockstains before, so cheers for being a pioneer. Couple of months too late, though, don't you think? xoxo

I think I talk about myself once in the first par, because I interviewed the drummer about the upcoming shows so it's relevant. Nobody's ever told you that you're fat before? How about that you're a sociopath? Hey, if I hadn't been kindly alerted by YOU that that you were sitting next to me like a creep breathing heavily and watching me at the Linkin Park listening session, I would have been spared putting an ugly face to a name. Go listen to some MCR and get the fuck out of everyone's business. As for your comments about the De Britos; when you have a book published about something other than how much more authentic you are than anyone else in a chatroom, then you can start making comparisons. Being published in your own zine that you mum reads doesn't count.

Thanks for the fun times, though. I'm currently writing a piece about you for the newspaper. It's going to be real fun when everyone else knows your real name, too.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 18th Dec, 2010


Thanks for the fun times, though. I'm currently writing a piece about you for the newspaper. It's going to be real fun when everyone else knows your real name, too.

Will the headline be MAB suffers serious burns?

batdan

batdan said on the 18th Dec, 2010

This is getting interesting, in a Lewisham Hotel kinda way.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 19th Dec, 2010



Yeah, no-one ever in my entire life ever. You're a true original.



Why, just a few weeks ago! Again, you're not that original. I actually have Asperger's and ASPD, so I didn't really need telling.



Watching you? Don't flatter yourself, dear.



You are everyone? I knew you had an ego on you, but fucking hell.
Go listen to some Jezebels, I guess? I don't see how that's insulting, but there you have it.



George W. Bush has a published book. Does that make him a better president now?



Oh noes, my secret identity revealed! That name that I've never given out to anyone! What will happen to me?

And thank you for the fun times, love. I never get tired of reading your toss.

jonnoseidler

jonnoseidler said on the 21st Dec, 2010

Cool. Well I can see where I'm wanted. I'll leave this site to you. Clearly you've appointed yourself King and there's nothing any of us can do about it. If you actually have Aspergers, which I doubt, and you're trying to Lord it over me like I'm meant to feel bad, guess again. Maybe you and Criag Nichols could hang out and talk about how much fun it is to fuck with people who never did anything to you. You're a dick, and that's a personality trait, perhaps exacerbated by a mental illness, but not the cause of it. I'd rather share this site with 15 paranoid schizophrenics. So thanks for finishing my time at FL with a bang.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 21st Dec, 2010

Why would I make up the fact that I have Asperger's? Who would honestly want that? I understand that logical thought processes aren't really your thing, but honestly.

And...seriously? You're going to ragequit because someone doesn't like your writing? What a petulant fucking child you are.

mooney88

mooney88 said on the 21st Dec, 2010

It's true but, you are a dick.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 21st Dec, 2010

http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/476/simpsons1lh5.jpg

"...I think he's talking to you."

SaMBoY

SaMBoY said on the 22nd Dec, 2010



wait a min... so MAB listens to my chemical romance, linkin park, muse and kanye?? i never realised he was a 14 year old school girl.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 22nd Dec, 2010

Neither did I. Then I realised - hey, those are the only acts I have ever listened to ever! It all made sense after that.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 26th Dec, 2010

a very good quality bootleg of the first night is available on muse bootlegs. well worth checking out if you went!

shazie

shazie said on the 26th Dec, 2010



Can't find it on the site. Mind linking? :)

edit: just found it, actually :D Wish it was video but audio is still good! Thanks for the tip

daveyac8881

daveyac8881 said on the 26th Dec, 2010



like button created for this thread

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 27th Dec, 2010

Here are the Billboard Boxscore figures

Muse, Biffy Clyro
Acer Arena Sydney, Australia
Dec. 9-10, 2010
Revenue - $3,391,810

Tickets Sold - 29,845 /29,845

i honestly thought they had more than 15 000 tickets on sale for each show.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 27th Dec, 2010

Bullshit the second night was sold out. There were rows upon rows of empty seats in the silver section where I was. I actually managed to be a lot closer than my ticket had intended me to be.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 27th Dec, 2010

^^

yeah i find it interesting reading the boxscore figures but i rarely believe them. the promoters tend to re-define "sold out" to make the numbers look better. the best example is ac/dc's 3 night stay at anz stadium. they apparently sold out all 3 nights. the first night had 76 000 but the last night only had 67 000. in muse's case im thinking they had 17 000 there on the first night and about 13 000 on the second.

cant wait to see how U2 changes around their australian tour numbers.

Piko

Piko said on the 28th Dec, 2010

Sold out or not, 3.4 mill isn't a bad turnover