Saturday, September 22, 2007

Muse at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine

I remember Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World saying he felt stupid for playing a guitar solo after taking the stage during the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas show in 2004. The lineup that night was spectacular as it featured Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, The Killers, Modest Mouse, Muse, The Music, Snow Patrol and The Shins. I vividly remember Muse blowing everyone off the stage that night to only have it confirmed by Jim. This night was riddled with concert conflicts as Air was playing the Greek Theatre with Sea Wolf, and Besnard Lakes and Minor Canon were at the Troubadour. I couldn't pass up Muse in Irvine.

Immigrant opened up the show. They have 25,546 profile views on their myspace page and they are unsigned.

Juliette and The Licks had piqued my curiosity factor because I had heard she puts on an energetic show. I did like Juliette in Natural Born Killers but the question remained whether she could pull off a rock show. I was not to familiar with the songs she played, but can testify that she gave a spirited performance.

Muse blew up the Forum last time I saw them. They have since played two massive gigs at the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium and would easily rank in one of the top live bands in the game. With gigantic screens and a light show that rivals Nine Inch Nails, Muse opened with "Knights of Cydonia" and sounded as sharp as ever. The lyrics from the song were flashing across the screens as the band chugged away. "Map of the Problematique" had some excellent bubbly synths fill the amphitheatre as Matt Bellamy (Guitars/Vocals) showed off his amazing falsetto vocal range. The band broke down into a mini metal jam at the end of the song that was head banging worthy. "Hysteria" was amazing as Matt was tapping on his Korg Kaoss pad in his guitar for some spacey synth sounds. Matt then busted out the riff to "People Of The Sun" from Rage Against The Machine before Chris Wolstenholme unleashed his gut rumbling bass line.

I looked for a swarm of bees to appear after hearing Matt's fuzzy feedback intro into "Supermassive Black Hole". The great thing about seeing Muse live is how much the band adds in terms of extra notes, feedback, fuzz, and crazy synth effects. "Butterflies & Hurricanes" showcased Matt's piano skills on his Kawai Piano which had a clear top and had lasers reflecting off the top for a visually appealing effect. "Feeling Good" had Matt grabbing a megaphone for a distorted vocal effect. "Stockholm Syndrome" was a showstopper as all in attendance were convinced that they had witnessed one of the best live bands at the top of their game. I was hoping they could salvage the San Diego Street Scene on Saturday.

Muse Setlist for Verizon Wireless in Irvine(9/21/07)
"Knights of Cydonia"
"Map of the Problematique"
"Supermassive Black Hole"
"Butterflies & Hurricanes"
"City of Delusion"
"Sing for Absolution"
"Feeling Good"
"Apocalypse Please"
"Soldier's Poem"
"New Born"
"Time Is Running Out"
"Plug In Baby"
"Take a Bow"
"Stockholm Syndrome"

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