Tuesday, April 16, 2013

If There's One Thing They Can Do...

The number of times I've seen Muse live now has alarmingly breached my second hand when finger counting.

I'm not apologizing for seeing them 7 times (6 times Muse proper and once as support for U2) though.  Hell, if I had the money and will to do so, I probably would have gone again tonight.

Because last night reminded me of why they're just so damned fantastic.

Before you all get all rolly-eyed with me, know this: I had no intention of seeing them this tour.

It's a blasted, horrible current album.  They've gone off the deep end on this one.  I bestowed upon them the dishonour of being my most hated album last year, as they bestowed upon me the dishonour of having to listen to that mess.

But, if there's one thing they can do...it's put on a show.


Now, I've fond memories from nearly all my Muse shows.  The first was at a tiny venue and they'll never be that small again.  The second was in London - different vibe being on home turf and an awesome time.  The third was...in London at Wembley Stadium with H1 - two sisters having a blast in a huge opening for the Stadium.  The fourth was in the pit at MSG and so close to the action that it was plain amazeballs.  The fifth was god awful at MSG and I don't know what happened there.  The sixth was for U2 and they turned out better than U2 (U2 at the time were touring that rubbish last album).  And last night...Last night was special for the sort of sad reasons you never want to think about.

I was uneasy.  It was not a show I planned on going to but an Active Goat was never afforded the opportunity.  I took her because she and I have become quite the friends and if there's one show anyone ever needs to see, it's Muse.  Goats are all about being dragged to things and actively going there of their own mind even if they don't know they've been tricked.  Haha! Nothing, Goat.  You saw nothing.

I was doubly uneasy.  All manners of bullshit happened in Boston yesterday as terrorists attacked the city during their Marathon.  Hundreds are severely injured.  Lives were lost.

It's a sad time and certainly puts a damper on your spirit.  And a concert at MSG is the furthest thing from my mind knowing shit is going on number one and number two, that you're at a prime target for a terrorist attack to happen.  Security was of course heightened but that did not make me feel better.

I pondered long on getting these tickets and therefore ended up with not prime seating.  Section 106 though I have to say was not bad at all.  Maybe not Row 20 at Seats 1 and 2 but not bad viewing for Muse's theatrics at all.

Always one to do things loud and bombastic, nothing was left to be dull.

The famous inverted pyramid for this tour came down from the ceiling and the first image was one that hit a little too close to home.


A lone marathon female runner - fighting to run.  Stopping to catch her breath.  It was uncanny.  I don't believe it was intentional but it was something.  It was something jarring with Boston fresh on my mind.

Images plastered everywhere on the multi-screen pyramid set to heavy electronic music of The 2nd Law.  Muse eventually came out and dove straight into "Supremacy".

Never one to shy away from Conspiracy Theories and how we should all band together in an Uprising to take down the wealthy government and general spewing of "rock n' roll" rhetoric, it was an odd universe and feeling to be stuck in in that moment during the events that had occurred mere hours previously.


As the highly energetic night wore on with all my old favourites being played, at one point Matt belted out the Star-Spangled Banner on the guitar to a sort of hushed audience mixed in with almost forlorn cheers.  It was heart-breaking.  It was heavy.  It felt right.  I think everyone at the arena stood proud.  I know I did.


The Low Lamps

1.  It's NYC, so Muse thought maybe they could put Chris on to sing one of his songs.  Sorry Chris.  Those songs were horrible.  The was actually not well received at all by the crowd.  I clapped a little because I love them all, but...no.  Those songs were part of the problem of the new album.

2.  A couple eventually ended up sitting next to us at the concert.  We were hoping for some European hotties, Goat and I but alas...

3.  Every time Muse played one of the crappier songs from the current album that I did not care for (which was 80% of the album), I cringed.

4.  Matt jumped into the crowd at the pit! What the eff! He couldn't do that in 2007 when I saw him and was in the pit?! Curse you, effin' Bells.  CURSE YOU.

5.  Absolutely nothing was played from Origin of Symmetry.  Son of a...

The Highlights

1.  You know, I've avoided Biffy Clyro for some while and I'm not sure why I did.  They're not so bad.  I mean, they're a lot more alternative than I imagined them to be but they did have a sort of heavy metal vibe going to them too which is more of what I expected of them.  Good stuff.  Mostly good stuff.  Some of it was dull nearing the end there.


2.  The stage set up.  Truly magnificent! Muse are never meant to be stripped down.  This is how they should be seen.  It was quite the amazing set up this time around.  It all sounded loud, clear, and good.  Mostly.  Sometimes it sounded not so great but damned amazing to experience.


3.  Great songs outweighed the bad ones played.  And the ones I did like off the album were done really well.

4.  Muse.  Even after distancing myself from them for the past two years or so, they still manage to impress.  Dom was so cute at the end there too saying goodbye to NY.  Love that boy a lot.

5.  Section 106 was full on French people.  Whoooaaaa!!!!

6.  An Active Goat.  "Um, Goat.  I think we're on the floor we need to be on already."  "Nah! We didn't go up three flights yet!"  "Um, yeah.  I think we did.  Yep, pretty sure this is us...::watching her go up the escalator." "Uh oh!"  Two seconds later she re-appeared from the service exit staircase.  So freaking hilarious, I can't even tell you.

The Muse at Madison Square Garden Set List on 4/15/2013:

1.  The 2nd Law: Isolated System
2.  Supremacy
3.  Map of the Problematique
4.  Supermassive Black Hole
5.  Resistance
6.  Panic Station (Star-Spangled Banner intro)
7.  Knights of Cydonia (Man with a Harmonica intro)
8.  Monty Jam
9.  Explorers
10.  Follow Me
11.  United States of Eurasia
12.  Liquid State
13.  Madness
14.  Time is Running Out
15.  Undisclosed Desires
16.  Stockholm Syndrome
17.  The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
18.  Uprising (extended outro)

Encore:

19.  Starlight (dedicated to Boston)
20.  Survival

It was during the encore, the boys came back met by a sea of lit phones all around the Garden like twinkling stars, and they in turn dedicated "Starlight" to the people of Boston.  "They need all our support tonight!" or something along those lines were said.  It was an amazingly, fitting moment.

And more so when everything ended in "Survival".

Words cannot even express the pure excitement and solidarity in those final moments as we all clapped our hands together in unison.  For Boston.  For each other.  For everyone.


Currently listening to: "Welcome to Japan" by The Strokes.

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