H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley Review

artist: Muse date: 08/19/2014 category: dvd

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Muse: H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley
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
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reviews (8) 71 comments vote for this dvd:
overall: 9.5
H.A.A.R.P.: Live At Wembley 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

Content: In terms of bonus material, you don't get any extras like a documentary or behind-the-scenes material on the general release (there are limited edition releases with extra material). The concert portion is pretty lengthy, however, and it's definitely more entertaining than many live DVD shows. It would have insightful to see how exactly the band created the massive production or even hear a bit about the art direction, but music is the central focus on H.A.A.R.P. and that should likely be enough for fans. // 9

Production Quality: The colors are so dynamic on the DVD that it does command your attention, even when the band isn't moving around much. I'm not sure if that effect was a direct result of the cameras used or completed in the editing room, but it's absolutely gorgeous. There are plenty of aerial shots throughout the concert as well, and it's obvious the people who made this video went to great lengths to get the best imagery possible. // 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 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

Content: As far as the setlist goes, it couldn't be that much better. Nearly all the fan favourites and Muse classics are in there, with some small suprises too. I was a little dissapointed that "Plug In Baby" wasn't featured in the CD, but its no biggy really. 01. Intro 02. Knights Of Cydonia 03. Hysteria 04. Supermassive Black Hole 05. Map Of The Problematique 06. Butterflies And Hurricanes 07. Hoodoo 08. Apocalypse Please 09. Feeling Good 10. Invincible 11. Starlight 12. Improvisation 13. Time Is Running Out 14. New Born 15. Soldier's Poem 16. Unintended 17. Blackout 18. Plug In Baby 19. Stockholm Syndrome 20. Take A Bow The DVD also contains a photo gallery of stills from the two Wembley dates. The special addition has backstage footage, extra photos and band member pictures. Aside from a full-on documentary, the content for this set is superb. // 8

Production Quality: The sound was mixed by Rich Costey (Audioslave, Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta), so obviously it is a very high standard. The camera angles are also very impressive, because not only do they capture the band's performance, but they manage to show the fans and the spectacular visuals to their full extent. Some highlights include the overhead view of blazing Wembley Stadium, and the acrobatics of a pair of trapeze artists suspended from balloons. // 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 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

Content: The DVD doesn't have many feautures on it but the ones it does have are enough. The DVD comes with a song selection, photo gallery and a r/documentary of the making of the concert. The recording is of the concert on the 17th of June and when purchasing the DVD it comes with an CD of the 16th which in my opinion was a much better concert. The limited edition DVD/CD boxset also comes with "limited edition postcards" which are not really postcards at all and more resemble place mats. // 10

Production Quality: There are many camera angles and tricks used to spice up the DVD. Apart from the usual guitar, drum, piano and bass cameras there is also crowd cameras, cameras that pan around inside the stadium and give amazing shots of the on-stage production and also due to the magnitude of the concert there is a helicopter above the stadium showing awesome views of the stadium at night. // 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 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

Content: The standard DVD and CD set that I have features the audio of the concert on the 16th June 2007 and the video of the 17th. Included with he DVD is a photo gallery of stills and song selection. It's great to hear some older songs like unintended and some less well known ones as well. The only reason the content is a nine is because "Plug In Baby" is cut from the CD and because they didn't play sunburn. // 9

Production Quality: The production quality is very good. Muse's backdrop is truly immense with a massive big screen showing some crazy graphics. There is smoke, lasers, pyrotechnics and about everything else in between to make this concert as big as possible. The intro in which MUSE come up in a lift in the middle of the stadium is a great entrance and the varied camera angles show the audience as well as close ups and helicopter shots: it's one hell of a show. // 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 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

Content: 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? // 9

Production Quality: 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. // 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 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

Content: It is a live concert DVD with great content. The set list starts with big tracks, with softer ones in the middle and a couple of massive tracks at the end, very good! There are no extra things on it like games or hidden tracks but the concert is all you need. // 9

Production Quality: Very clever camera angles catch everything that is going on as well as the bands and the audiences feelings and expressions. Lots of camera shifting in the heavey parts make it look much better. The production quality is excellent and it is clear that they have taken their time over it. // 9

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 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

Content: The content to HAARP is poor, sadly. The "gallery", has only a few photos of the performance, but is a nice touch. The DVD is of muse live at Wembley stadium June 17th and contains the whole powerful performance. Whereas the CD contains a selection of songs from their June 16th performance. It is sad that plug in baby wasn't included in the CD, as it is one of their bigger songs, yet it leaves the DVD to be looked forward to. It is sad also that a making of section or muse interview isn't included in a special features section. // 7

Production Quality: The production quality of HAARP is incredible. The opening of the DVD uses an effect that has everything in black and white but keeps in the red of Matt's suit and the green of Dom's pants, drawing you're eyes to the performers. This trick is used to create an authentic portrayal of the show as changing point in history. The lighting at the show is brilliant, spanning every colour you can think of, and flashing in time with the music. The clarity is picture perfect also the use of camera fade is taken advantage of to flow images into each other fluently. // 9

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 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

Content: The DVD features 20 songs performed by Muse and Wembley stadium from all of there albums that were out at the time "Unintended" from "Showbiz," "Feeling Good," "New Born," "Plug In Baby" from "Origin of Symmetry," "Hysteria," "Butterflies and Hurricanes," "Apocalypse Please," "Time Is Running Out," "Blackout," "Stockholm Syndrome" from "Absolution" and "Knights of Cydonia," "Supermassive Black Hole," "Map of the Problematique," "Hoodoo," "Invincible," "Starlight," "Soldiers Poemand Take a Bow" from "Black Holes and Revelations."

Overall was amazing and came with a 14 song live CD as well. My only criticism of this live album I think they should off played all of there singles on the set before adding in unknown ones songs like "Sunburn," "Muscle Museum," "Bliss" missed out on the set which were singles unlike "Hoodoo" and "Blackout" which weren't and the fact they played "Micro Cuts" at that gig but didn't put it on the album. // 8

Production Quality: Just certain things cut out and mastered to look good and they did overall a good job. The camera worked really well throughout making sure a great deal off emotion was shown through out from both the band and the crowd was overall a good job. Only mistake were that when edited sometimes things were noticeable like Matt's guitar being red panning out it being white then going back to red again other than that no stand out issues. Trend wise it suited the bands style and the way they perform live with the angles of the camera being inch perfect. // 9

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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