H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Review

artist: Muse date: 08/19/2014 category: compact discs
Muse: H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD]
Release Date: Mar 17, 2008
This first full live album (discounting 2002's part-studio "Hullabaloo") from the epic Devonshire prog rockers is the follow-up to 2006's hugely successful studio set "Black HolesAnd Revelations."
 Sound: 9.5
 Content: 8.6
 Production Quality: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 9.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 9.2 
 Votes:
 311 
 Views:
 1,892 
reviews (8) 71 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.5
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: UG Team, on april 04, 2008
14 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sound: If ever a band has been able to live up to the hype, Muse has done it. You can get an inkling of the band's talent from singles like Knights Of Cydonia and Starlight, but the live show seen on the new DVD/CD H.A.A.R.P. takes everything up a notch. Although bassist Christopher Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard are given plenty of camera time, the main attraction is the multi-talented frontman Matthew Bellamy. He's got a lot going for him besides astounding vocal range, and the DVD H.A.A.R.P. brings that all to light. Between the amazing guitar solos and his classical trained piano work, Bellamy delivers the ultimate concert experience. H.A.A.R.P. (which stands for High Frequency Active Aural Research Program) includes 2 disks, with the first disk being an audio CD of Muse's June 16, 2007, show at Wembley Stadium. The second disk is the DVD, which contains 20 songs from the June 17 show and runs about 90 minutes long. The audio CD isn't the exact same show as you'll get on the DVD, so it's worth a listen to hear some variances. But the CD still only gives you a glimpse of the full visual DVD experience, which features enhanced coloring to the images, a massive backdrop showing what only could be described as a universe exploding, and most importantly, a memorable performance by Muse. On both the audio and the video portion, the band enters onstage to a cinematic string composition, with the DVD featuring an extra cool visual touch. Most everything (including the audience) is colored in black and white, with the one exception of the some brightly colored wardrobe on the band members. Eventually the color all fades in and you get the entire spectrum of colors. It's all very dramatic and quite fitting for the massive production the band is about to deliver. When you follow that up immediately with the larger-than-life Knights Of Cydonia (complete with trumpets), you've got the perfect entrance. The band has some incredible moments, with Supermassive Black Hole, New Born, and Plug In Baby being standouts. Guitar-wise, New Born features some of the most impressive moments, and the cameramen provide some brilliant shots that bounce between Bellamy's tapping technique to his foot going wild on the pedal below. Bellamy is a genius on the guitar, which is particularly impressive considering he is doing vocals that are just as challenging through it all. It's not all about Bellamy's electric guitar abilities, either. Muse shows off its softer side in the jazzy standard Feeling Good, which also displays Bellamy's classically trained piano skills. The band isn't afraid to rein things in tempo-wise in several songs, and even some of the encore songs are centered around an acoustic. // 10

Overall Impression: It's hard to not be amazed by the entire production on the H.A.A.R.P. DVD. Even without the pyrotechnics and monstrous backdrop, Bellamy is simply a master at everything he does. Play piano? Check. Shred like Eddie Van Halen? Check. Sing higher than most girls I know? Check. And even more impressive, the man writes solid songs with riffs that stand up against the best out there. It's almost impossible to not be a fan of Muse (or at least respect the musicianship in the band) by the end of H.A.A.R.P. // 9

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overall: 8.8
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: AEnima18, on march 19, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: HAARP, the latest offering from the Devon Prog trio, captures the band during their 2-day stint at Wembley Stadium, on a tour supporting their last studio release 'Black Holes & Revelations'. Muse are famed for their live performances, and if you vindication was ever needed for this hype, then it's right here on these 2 discs! From the grandiose classical intro to the stunning guitar prowess of Matthew Bellamy, through to the immense atmosphere and amazing visual features, this shows a band at the top of their game, as unoriginal as that sounds. Over the top? Maybe. Absolutely brilliant? You bet! // 9

Overall Impression: Muse have been climbing higher and higher on their quest for world domination, and this set surely shows them at their pinnacle. The only way you could better this experience is to catch them live the next time they tour. After watching this as a relative newbie to Muse material, I'm now fully convinced of their genius and will be making sure I buy tickets when they tour next! A must have for Muse fans and noobs like me alike. // 9

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overall: 10
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: mon_the_fraser, on march 18, 2008
2 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: The words Muse, Wembley and stadium go together like Bish, Bash and Bosh and as people who also went to the concert would agree (me) best, concert and ever and Jimi, Hendrix and Woodstock. The sound on this DVD captures what it was like to actually be there well and is absoulutely epic. Muse's sound seems to be selected by the gods to be played live with intense riffs, awesome vocals and beutiful and epic moments were the crowd is just too stunned to do anything else but marvel. Matt Bellamy is not just the first guitar genius of the 21st century he is also a master song writer using strings, trumpets and multiple guitar tracks (there is eight on Knights Of Cydonia) to create some real musical masterpieces that are not just great rock songs. // 10

Overall Impression: This concert has been documented as one of the best of all time with the first day making Muse the first band to sell out Wembley Stadium. I feel let down that they did not release the first day on the DVD as I feel it was a better concert with more crowd participation, better improvisations and solos by Bellamy as well as more and just generally the atmosphere was amazing. However this is still a great DVD for a great concert and if I lost it somehow I would probably take my own life. // 10

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overall: 9.8
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: wilmearz, on march 31, 2008
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Absolution was described as "The soundtrack to the end of the world" and hearing the beginning of "Apocalypse please" on H.A.A.R.P. (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) it just might have been. Muse's live sound is awesome, many of their songs just seemed to have been written to be played in a stadium even if that was not intended. In surround sound this DVD is the closest thing to actually being at a MUSE concert and they were not voted best live act at least once every year since 2002 for nothing. The actual band's performance is extremely good and is quite probably their best live show to date, as it should be. Bellemy's solos to invincible and newborn especially are incredible and the bands general sound is epic. Hearing 134, 457 people screaming, "Our time is running out" is not to be missed. // 10

Overall Impression: Seeing Muse live should be in the top twenty things to do before you die, in my opinion. During "Blackout" two large hot air balloons with gymnasts suspended underneath are released into the stadium. The intro to "Apocalypse Please", the solos to "Invincible" and "New Born", hearing unintended sung by thousands as well as the end of "Take A Bow" and the breakdown of "Knights Of Cydonia" are all not to be missed. Matt Bellemy essentially proves himself to be a guitar god on this disc and that is something not to be missed as well! H.A.A.R.P. shows Muse at the top of their game and just makes you want to see them live yourself. Seriously good, check it out. // 10

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overall: 8.8
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: csc501, on april 07, 2008
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 9.5
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: interlude46, on may 20, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Great sound quality! It is only the concert but that lasts for 1.5 hours anyway. There are many extra parts to songs that are only played live that are worth listening to and learning. It was a fantastic set and the atmosphere of the day is clear through the DVD. I can never get bored of it! // 10

Overall Impression: It is a great live album as no one has played a gig that big at Wembley. And I challenge any band to play a gig bigger than it! The most impressive thing is the songs because they are great with the extra parts and outros to them. I love all of it! If I lost it I would certainly buy it again because there would be a Supermassive Black Hole on my shelf until I bought it again. // 10

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overall: 8
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: Elden G20, on july 11, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: To start off, HAARP is one of the best DVDs that iv seen. The opening containing the classical theme is EPIC. Yet it is missing certain sounds in the concert. To begin with, the bass. you can barely make out the riff from hysteria, a song with one of the greatest bass riffs ever. The audience sees this too as they take a moment to cheer. And super massive black whole was done poorly by Matt. Apart from that, the playing is impressive all around, especially by the drummer, Dominic Howard, who doesn't miss even a beat. It's upsetting to see that "Bliss" wasn't included in the song lineup. Overall, the sound by this incredible group is at a relative high. // 8

Overall Impression: HAARP is a wicked production and competes with the best of any artists albums and dvds. The sad thing is, though, that Muse didn't go above and beyond to make the production "perfect". If I lost this cd, I would buy another unless muse put out another live DVD album. // 8

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overall: 8.8
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley [DVD] Reviewed by: Sam_Guitarist, on august 19, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This probably there best live DVD vocally musically technically amazing the only downside to it was not all the songs on the DVD were on the live CD that came with it. Lead singer/guitarist Matt showed his passion for his music throughout and the band as a whole looked like a group of friends that love to right music together and be able to play together on stage and enjoy it which is what as a fan you want to see from a band. The band's sound is very unique in that I've never heard it before from any artists and its very out there. // 10

Overall Impression: This is the best live DVD I bought since Queen and actually pushes it all the way. It shows Muse and everything about the band through there songs. The live performances were amazing just wish they had done all the singles and not cut "Micro Cuts" from the album. Would recommend this to any rock/metal/punk fan it has everything from mellow acoustic ballad of "Unintended" to Drop D electric heaviness of "Stockholm Syndrome." Another downside was the fact the CD that came with the DVD only had 14 off the 20 songs on off the DVD which was a bit of a let down. // 8

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