While some might argue that there’s no such thing as a formula for a perfect concert –that it all has to do with personal experience and preference– those present at Muse’s recent show in Sunrise, FL, might say otherwise. From the moment Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dom Howard cracked their amps at the BB&T Center, they performed with such precision and intensity many (including this writer) left wondering: Damn, so what’s next?
To put it simply, Muse are performers, and the crowd of fist-pumpers and horn-throwers wouldn’t argue otherwise. On Friday night, Bellamy never faltered, neither in vocals nor in energy. Though he spent the night running, kneeling, and sliding across the stage, even jumping down to shake hands with those at the barricade at one point, his singing never begged for the towel. In support, Wolstenholme and Howard tossed out powerful tempos and beats that glazed the audience.
They also kept things rather creative. The lead in to “Knights of Cydonia” found Wolstenholme playing an eerie harmonica and Bellamy echoing along on the guitar to “Man With A Harmonica” from Once Upon A Time In The West. Following the intense drum-and-bass-filled “Monty Jam”, a piano quietly appeared on the stage, and Bellamy softly lamented the words to “Explorers”, which just ached with emotion.
The amount of detail that Muse puts into their show is something to be admired. In perhaps the most visually stunning and spectacular light show to ever hit South Florida (which, you know, is saying something), the concert breached new levels through synchronization, projections, flares, and bursts of unexpected colors. The glassy-looking stage was surrounded by video screens, placed both on a lower platform beneath the band and in a half-circle behind them. There was also a set of flat screens that morphed into various objects, like a chandelier or a pyramid, the latter of which engulfed the trio during the adrenaline–fueled “Stockholm Syndrome”.
Once Bellamy, Wolstenholme, and Howard said their thank yous and left the stage, the audience just stood there in a light-induced trance — they didn’t race towards the exits, they just acted like lobotomized zombies.* As such, Muse’s powerful, consistent performances were the perfect balance: They satisfied and kept ‘em wanting to come back for more. Still, what’s next?
* - In hindsight, maybe it was a product of too much booze? C’mon, it’s South Florida, people.
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
Supermassive Black Hole
Bliss (Star-Spangled Banner intro)
Knights of Cydonia (Man with a Harmonica intro)
Time Is Running Out
Stockholm Syndrome (Rage Against the Machine’s Freedom outro)
The 2nd Law: Isolated System