H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] review by Muse

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  • Released: Mar 17, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (311 votes)
Muse: H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD]

Sound — 9
Muse live is always a treat but despite claims from various sources this is far from the first DVD released, indeed it's the third live DVD they've released. Subsequently it has to be measured relatively as well as absolutely (no pun intended). The sound quality is at least as high if not better than previous efforts, so no problems in the recording quality. But to the importnat 'sound' the songs. Generally the BH&R songs are the best here, it's by far the best live version of Knights available and Supermassive Black Hole has so many additional bits added it's like getting a new song. Unintended has never sounded so good either, and it's a fair effort at Invincible, better than the Milan performance? Perhaps. The less impressive efforts, well relatively, include Stockholm Syndrome, which is better from Earl's Court on the Absolution tour DVD, indeed New Born and Time is running out are also best heard from the Absolution DVD. Equally some of the other absolutionist's Hysteria and Butterflies are much the same. Overall some are better, some are worse, several the same, the balance is probably just in favour of HAARP.

Content — 9
HAARP as you may know covers the Sunday Wembley gig frmo June 17th 2007. Well actually no it doesn't, it's missing Microcuts. Seamlessly removed, but why? It's a bizarre omission. It's not alone, Bliss has been torn from both CD and DVD also. In truth Bliss live from Hullabaloo won't be beaten for live performance, and it's not one you'll feel you've missed out on hearing, but again why? Overall 20 songs isn't bad and it's the longest gig from Muse yet to be placed on DVD. In terms of what's actually on there, well fan's favourite Citizen Erased, makes no resurface, Assasin disappears and there's still no sign of constantly AWOL Exo-politics or City of Delusion, but all the Post-Showbiz hits are here (minus Bliss), as well as extras Unintended Blackout and Soldiers Poem which make a nice mellow trilogy in the middle of the show. If you didn't know any better you couldn't complain, perhaps you shouldn't if you do. Relative to it's siblings it has the bonus of having an extra album to plug, and a formidable album at that. It also includes surprising extras Unintended & Blackout (& should have Microcuts), making it the best collection of songs they've playe in one DVD to date (but why no Microcuts and Bliss). If you are an 'extras' kind of guy you'll be disappointed, but frankly who buys a DVD for extras?

Production Quality — 9
The visual elements of a Muse gig have been gradually building throughout their career. At Wembley you still find the Balloons from Hullabaloo, the Feeling Good Bunnies Video from the Absolution tour and the Dancing Supermassive Black Hole Robot from the most recent tour. You get the addition of the flying acrobats. All in all it's not a bad set of props and it's all well presented with the cameras for the large part managing to ignore a few empty seats in the crowd, chopping to and fro to give you the hectic experience of actually being there. It's a long way from previous efforts, with Arial shots, and fancy camera work everywhere. It's slick.

Overall Impression — 8
It reminds me of the revenge of the Sith, the best of the trilogy yes, but it could still be better. I want to like it and it is very good, but I just can't help but look at the cracks. Stockholm Syndrome is important and it's not as good as the last Video'd effort. The stadium is impressive, but it's size serves to exagerate the few baron areas. the content is good, but it's missing songs, the performance visually is generally whole-hearted but at times you can see in their faces a slight discomfort with the enormity of the task. No song quite reaches perfection. Absolutely it's a sturdy 9.5, as music DVD's go it's top notch. Relative to expectation's however it's going to have to be a harsh 8.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Muse play both Maggie's Farm riff and Microphone Fiend riff as Bellamy has been heavily influenced by Morello
    Feeling good is about the piano equivalent of hey there delilah so id hardly call that his "classically trained piano skills" But yeah its an awesome disk and an awesome AWESOME band, your missing out on something as big as hendrix if youve not heard or seen muse.
    To the reviewer who reviewed today 4/7, I don't think it's fair to judge these past songs on this DVD against prior DVD or performances. The typical end user most likely hasn't even seen these other performances and you are setting up an otherwise spot on performance for failure. I think your review is unfair and unwarranted. SS is amazing!!! The reason that its different from prior performances is because each one is different slightly so it doesn't get boring. I give the disk a 9/10 as Bliss and Sunburn are missing as well as longer extras, other than that, perfect Muse!
    Did anyone else notice they started with knights of cydonia, the last track of black holes and ended with take a bow, the first track of black holes?
    whitestrat279 makes a great point!! i hadnt realised that, did they play that same intro/outro at the concert? cus that is sumthing to really ponder... oh the dvd owns the cd not as gud, buy hey you get to hear screaming fans at least =D
    dylan 182
    itsa good review, but it focuses on matt to much. yea hes amazing, but without chris and dom they wouldnt be as good as they are. but overall, the concert was awesome. i like the dancing robots on supermassive