Sound: This is the first time I've seen Muse play live apart from on TV and DVD. I've been well aware of their musical prowess and skill for a long time, but none of that prepared me for the show they put on last night in Brisbane.
Matt Bellamy was a tiny powerhouse of musical talent on stage. His vocals were flawless in terms of pitch and tone, and yet he still maintained his usual improvised style with phrasing and pitch in some songs. His Guitar playing was amazingly tight and featured all of his usual embellished style, including fantastic solos and great tone. His piano playing and keytar also featured a virtuoso's skill through the entire show.
Chris Wolstenholme delivered the most solid performance I've ever seen a Bassist show, while Dom Howard displayed exactly what a rock drummer should be.
The Brisbane Entertainment Centre is known specifically for the generally poor quality of their FOH mixes at large shows. Muse, however, have brought their own stage complete with an entire PA along with their crew who mix their shows every night. This show probably had the best live mix I've ever heard. All the instruments were clear and full in the mix, without being muddy, tinny or harsh. The only problem with the sound all night was when Matt's in-ear monitoring system malfunctioned at the beginning of the show. Also, during Undisclosed Desires, the string samples were too low in the mix. So I cant really give this section a 10, but it was probably as close as I've heard. // 9
Perfomance: I've seen a few shows in my 21 years on this earth. I'm a music student in my final year of university, so I consider it "research" to go to shows and festivals, and do so as often as I can. Muse put on the best show, both visually and audibly, that I have ever witnessed.
Their Set List was (More or less) as follows:
01. Exogenisis Part One (Overture): The show opener. And what a way to open the show! The Orchestral opening to the song began with almost total darkness on stage, while three massive towers, covered with curtains, on stage slowly began to glow. At the early crescendo of the song the curtains dropped, revealing the band- each member standing atop a tower 4 or 5 metres tall on top of the stage. Unfortunately, towards the end of the song Matt's monitors malfunctioned and he couldnt hear his vocals, so he didnt sing the end of the song. In the 30 second break they took to fix it The Crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Dom.
02. Uprising: The Current favourite with the crowd.
03. Knights of Cydonia: Played particularly well with the crowd.
04. Resistance: I was amazed at how well this song was mixed, including all the reverb and delay sounds on the drums etc.
05. United States of Eurasia: Flawless
06. Sunburn: The one song I didnt expect them to play out of their entire set. Nice surprise!
07. Bliss: Another track I havent heard the play live. Fantastic
08. MK Ultra: One of my personal favourites at the moment
09. Super Massive Black Hole: Always a fantastic song live.
10. Time is Running Out: The hit that made their career
11. Interlude/Hysteria: The first time I've heard of them playing the interlude part on the album that goes before the song. Fantastic to hear live!
12. Butterflies and Hurricanes: Fantastic Piano playing!
13. Undisclosed Desires: Its always good to have a little slap bass
14. Starlight: If someone goes to a Muse show and dont know all the songs, this is the one that they do know.
15. Citizen Erased: A pleasant surprise to hear live. Fantastic Guitar playing!
16. Plug In Baby: Widely regarded as the best Muse song. Its hard not to agree.
17. Take a Bow: A fantastic song to close the show.
Not all of these song are in order, but they are all the ones they played. Every moment of the show was special. If I listed them all, you'd be reading a long time. Go to a Muse show and you'll see what I mean.
Visually, the show was stunning. With smoke vents in the stage, lasers everywhere, massive moving lights, the massive rising, spinning towers that displayed video and a preset video show on the sides, it was the most elaborate lights show I've seen. Probably my favourite part was during Plug in baby when a massive white stage light was focussed on Matt's Mirror finished Manson. A huge beam of white light was reflected of the guitar, stronger than any of the other lights on stage. // 10
Overall Impression: The show was Muse at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia, on the 6th of December 2010. The support act were Dead Letter Circus. I loved everything about the show, and while hate is far too strong a word, I would have liked them to play Stockholme Syndrome and Invincible, but you can't fault a band for their set list when it is so strong.
I paid $130AUD and it was worth every cent. My favourite moments were probably the climax of Knight of Cydonia when Matt slid across half the stage on his knees, the Jam between Chris and Dom with both of them on the drum riser, spinning 4 metres above the stage, and when Matt, (about to play Sunbrun) atop his tower and behind the piano, pointed to a member of the crowd, and in one of his rare moments of crowd interaction, said "I know you're gay."
I have been a fan of Muse since Black Holes and Revelations was released, so I'm kinda late to the party compared to a lot of their fans, but after seeing them play last night they have cemented themselves in my mind as a band that I will love forever. I will make it my mission to see them play on ever tour they play from now on. // 10