I’ve seen Muse a good few times at this stage. They are one of my brother’s favourite bands, so he brought me along this time (thanks very much!) The first time I saw them was a few years ago at Oxegen (may even have been Witnness then) and I didn’t really know much by them at the time. But I was impressed, really impressed. By them more than anyone else that weekend. This was down to the fact that Matt Bellamy is such a brilliant guitarist. The good thing is: five or more years on (possibly longer), he’s just as good.
Muse’s performance at the o2 was not as good as their show at the Point or the few times I’ve seen them at Oxegen. Alas, there is just one reason for this. The new album. The Resistance was released this year, and all these live shows are part of The Resistance Tour. Thus the trio play a lot of the new stuff. It’s just a pity some of this new stuff is as boring as hell and is the worst material they have ever released.
They opened with new single ‘Uprising’, but this was okay, as the Blondie-aping single is one of the best of the new tunes. ‘United States of Eurasia’, the other new single wasn’t too bad either, but it lacked the punch of earlier stuff. ‘Undisclosed Desires’ is much better live than on record, but the rest of the new stuff just inspires stagnation among the hopping, dancing, yelling crowd. ‘Guiding Light’ was all sorts of shocking. A terrible song that I hope never to hear again.
For that side of the show, the rest was totally opposite. It was two-thirds a magnificent concert. ‘New Born’ and ‘Map of the Problematique’ were amazing, and ‘Supermassive Blackhole’ really had the crowd going. ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘Unintended’ brought things down a notch, but were never boring. They just made the whole thing more intimate. ‘Starlight’ > ‘Plug in Baby’ > ‘Time is Running Out’ was definitely the best run of the show, and caused the crowd to go wild.
The encore was a mixed bag, beginning with yawnfest ‘Overture’ and then heading into so-so ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘Man with a Harmonica’ and ending with the utterly fantastic ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Everyone left on a high after ‘Knights’ and this may have rose-tinted their memories of the show, forgetting all about the poorer new stuff – probably because that was when they went to the jacks or the bar – and remembering the brilliant ‘New Born’, ‘Plug in Baby’, ‘Unintended’ and the rest of the classics.
The stage itself was fantastic, and the whole thing was brilliantly produced. It’s just a pity there was so much new stuff. Otherwise it would have been the gig of the year.