I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether to write this up for 9b. I know this isn’t your usual fare here, but you all surprised me on the Matt and Kim and Ben Folds fronts, so here goes nothing. I figure what can it hurt, at the worst you just won’t read it, but for those of you who do check out the stuff I post here (thanks, Mom!), I had to take the chance that someone else may love this band like I do.
I’ve seen Muse twice before, both times at smaller venues (House of Blues Orlando and Tabernacle Atlanta), so when I found out that on this tour they were playing stadiums I was kinda bummed. There’s always that paradox, on the one hand I want to see my favorite bands in tiny little clubs with 100 people that are totally into the show. But on the other hand I want the bands I like to succeed. So it was with Muse this time around, and I actually didn’t even get tickets until a month or so before the show when I decided to suck it up and go ahead and see them. Shit, it’s not like the Bucs are doing anything in Raymond James Stadium this season.
Finally the day of the concert arrived and after fighting rush hour traffic to wait in line in the midday sun, the general admission herd was released onto the field. People abandoned the tents they’d been camped out in (some since midnight the night before) and the coolers (long since emptied while languishing in the 90 degree heat) and hauled ass towards “The Claw“, U2’s stage contraption. Finally it was show time. The sun had set, the breezes started to blow, and Muse took to the stage. I’m a chick, so you know I’m no good at math, but the fraction of people there for Muse vs U2 had to have been relatively small. There were definitely some other Muse die-hards like myself, and a handful of others who at least knew their current single, “Uprising”, but most were there for U2 which made it somewhat easy to get up to the stage. Muse made the call to start the set with their current single, “Uprising”, which kind of seemed like blowing their wad at first, but it made people around me perk up and realize they actually did know this band, so I guess it was a good idea after all. Going back to the whole being torn thing, while I was sad not to be seeing Muse in a little club, I knew that their brand of live show was going to do better than most other opening bands’ would in a gifuckinmongous stadium. They were big and loud and brilliant and I couldn’t believe I almost didn’t go. From the throbbing beat of “Hysteria” to the subtly R&B-tinged sexiness of “Undisclosed Desires”, they had my attention the whole time and I totally forgot how many other people were behind me watching. When they ended the mere 9 song set with one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Time is Running Out”, I couldn’t have been happier. Sure, I would have loved to hear “Knights of Cydonia” and “United States of Eurasia”, but maybe next time. They’re supposed to come back and do a headlining tour of the US next Spring and I’ve already warned the boyfriend that I’m dragging him to 2 or 3 of the closest shows, whatever funds and work schedules will allow.
Now I don’t know how long it was until U2 took the stage, as I was still in afterglow, but when they did it was to a gigantic roar from the crowd as Bono popped out of his hyperbaric carbon neutral windmill powered pod and went right into “Breathe”. Then he sang another song from an album I didn’t really care for. Then The Edge walked around the outer circle thingy. Then they played one from an album that was ok. Then Bono walked across a moving bridge thingy. Then they played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and briefly went into a cover of “Stand By Me”. Now you’re talking. Then another song from the new album. Meh. I’m pretty sure I lost my hard-on completely when Bono quipped something about how we should love the stage contraption since we paid for it. In all fairness, though, the vast majority of people were really into the show, and I think that if I hadn’t just seen one of my favorite bands kill it I could have been more into it. But I wasn’t, so we headed out for a location where we could get 3 vodka drinks for the price of one horrible stadium beer.
If you haven’t heard Muse, check them out in all their 70’s rock-influenced goodness. You can also see some pictures from the show here but I didn’t have the good camera, so hopefully they’ll be better from the next show!