Sound: The curtain came down and Matt Bellamy was standing on a raised platform next to his piano, singing the first verse of Take A Bow (their first track off their new album: "Black Holes & Revelations"). There appeared to be a glowing spacecraft to the left of the stage. All was dark until the chorus boomed into every crevice of the arena. The spacecraft split in two and Dominic Howard could be seen drumming atop a raised platform. Out came Chris Wolstenholme from the left side of the stage playing a reddish/orange bass guitar, and Matt jumped down from the platform and sang into the mic at the front of the stage. Instantly, everyone in the arena knew that it was going to be a night to remember. Throughout the show, Matt Bellamy's vocals and guitar work was amazing, staggering, virtuoistic (words to that effect). At one point, Matt Bellamy went the highest I've ever heard him go (his vocals exceeded the 'E' that can be played on the 24th fret of the top e string). Of course, distortion was a-plenty throughout, as Matt used his distortion knobs on his Hugh Manson custom guitar to control the distortion within. Just before Plug-In Baby, Matt leapt up to the monitor and started playing around with the guitar controls, making it screech and wail at different frequencies.
Dom Howard stayed in time all the way through, and was aided by the crowd on "Starlight," not that he needed it. Chris was also on form and delivered some killer bass riffs. Occasionally, Matt would wander over to the piano and begin to play. He played striking renditions of "New Born", "Hoodoo" and "Soldier's Poem" this way, and even did a bit of flamenco guitar on an acoustic during "City Of Delusion". The quality of the sound was incredible. Never before have I seen such a spectacle. Best Live Act In The World Today? After that performance, they certianly deserve that title. // 10
Perfomance: Did the audience enjoy it? Put it like this, the moshpit at the front was constantly thriving (even through "Soldier's Poem", when everyone got their lighters out and sang along to the gloomy, mellow song) and no-one was standing by the end of the night. Here is the list of song that they played on the night:
01. Take A Bow - this was an amazing opener and worked extremely well. Matt's vocals were so honed.
02. Starlight - the distorted bass came in and every began clapping the beat. Magnificent.
03. Supermassive Black Hole - this was when I twigged that Muse were playing the album tracks in chronological order. As the solo erupted, Matt shook the foundations of the arena to their core, as he used the guitar effects relentlessly.
04. Map Of The Problematique - a great song that was delivered in style. Everyone was singing along.
05. Soldier's Poem - Get the lighters out guys, this ones a soft one. But don't worry, it won't last.
06. Invincible - for this song, Matt used a slide on his left hand to get the sound of a whale singing underwater from his guitar. A fantastic song with a hell of a solo and a cracking chorus.
07. Assassin - a harder song that reminds you a little of the Origins Of Symmetry era Muse. Brilliant.
08. Exo-Politics - a song that everyone got up and did a bit of air guitar to. The opening riff is a classic. He's not last it, and never will.
09. City Of Delusion - one of the best of the night, Matt snatched up the acoustic guitar and did some seriously fast tremolo picking on it, high up the fretboard. Genius.
10. Hoodoo - Matt took to the piano once again and played with such passion that everyone thought: "Man, I wish I could do that."
11. Knights Of Cydonia - the epic that everyone was waiting for! The first song of the night that Matt really got to Shine as a vocalist. In this, he exceeded all limits (as stated earlier). We prayed to God that it wasn't over. Thankfully, it wasn't.
Muse left the stage and it looked for a moment as though that was it... the gig was over. When they came back on, the crowd got on their feet and applauded them as one. It was time for some oldies!
12. Sunburn - Dom introduced this song, saying: "This was the first song off of our first album back in 1998. It's called Sunburn." At once the crowd cheered and Matt began to play the opening piano sequence.
13. New Born - this was to be Matt's last bash on the piano, and what a way to end his reign! New Born kicked in and got all the more heavier when he threw his guitar from behind HIM and caught it in front HIM. Thus began a fuzzy riff that led to a crashing chorus.
14. Plug-In Baby - Matt strolled up to the monitor and began playing with the controls, making his guitar screech and wail in every way imaginable. When he had had his fill, Matt jumped down and played the one of the best riffs of all time. For me, that was the best song of the night.
15. Stockholm Syndrome - a somewhat darker, heavier song, it was played with such power, particularly from Chris' bass guitar, as it provided a kicking bassline.
16. Time Is Running Out - as soon as the riff kicked in, and the vocals erupted through the mic, the assembled got on their feet and sang along to one of Muse' all-time classics.
17. Hysteria - and, last but not least, hysteria fit the position of last song of the evening. Once the bass riff kicked in, there was no stopping the UK's favourite trio. Simply phenomenal.
Not only were the songs amazing, but the visual effects enhanced the experience ten-fold. Glowing lights, animation posted across numerous interactive screens, and Muse. What more could you wish for? // 10
Overall Impression: The gig took place in the UK, Nottingham Arena, on 17th November, 2006. The support band for Muse were called The Noisettes. I'm not going to go into great deal because they were shockingly poor. I nearly threw up when I found out that they have a record deal. What do I love about the show? The fact that Muse are always on form. Matt never undersells a guitar solo, and Chris and Dom are always in time and keep the sound together. Terrific. The tickets cost 27.50 each, well worth the money. After watching that, I seriously wouldn't mind paying 50 per ticket, just to see that again. Absolutely amazing. The show itself was unforgettable. Muse don't need cheap gimmicks to entertain their fans. They can do that just by playing. They are that good! As soon as they release their next album and organise tour dates, I'm ordering some tickets to one of their gigs. God help the person that tries to stop me! // 10