If there’s one band that can announce a tour with a weeks notice and absolutely smash it, its space-rock gods Muse.
The Devonshire trio took to the stage at the tiny Newport Centre last Thursday, and ripped through a phenomenal fifteen song set. Jam packed with everything from old favourites, newbies and some rarities. Bellamy and co strolled onto the stage at around 9.10pm and didn’t ease us into it at all. They launched straight into new single ‘Psycho’ and really delivered that old heavy sound that they have promised us for so so long. You know what I mean, that raw Showbiz to Absolution sound that everybody loves. The fuzzy psycho riff echoed from Bellamy’s Manson throughout the tiny room, riling everyone up, turning them into “fucking psychos”.
Newport also saw the resurrection of 2006’s ‘Assassin’ (last played in 2007) and Origin Of Symmetry extra ‘Futurism’, which hasn’t been aired out since 2001, sending fans into an absolute frenzy. What really made it was that you could see that they were enjoying playing them as much as we enjoyed hearing them. And believe you me, it was a hell of a lot. Absolution‘s riff packed anthem ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is always incredible live. It always exudes passion, from the unholy paced thuds of Howard’s Bass drum going hand in hand with the deep vibrations of one of Bellamy’s heaviest drop D riffs, leaving the crowd firmly in the palm of his hand.
And when you think it cant get much better, they throw one of the heaviest transitions I have ever heard at us. Imagine this anthemic frenzy fading into 2006’s ‘Assassin’. One of Muse’s heaviest songs, a song so full of dirty Rage Against The Machine-esque guitar that it sounds out of place on an otherwise commercial ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, topped off with THE ‘MICRO CUTS’ OUTRO!
How can I forget classic crowd favourites ‘Uprising’, ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, ‘Plug In Baby’, ‘Starlight’ and absolute crowd favourite ‘Knights Of Cydonia’. It’s songs like ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ that make you realise how good a drummer Dominic Howard is. He is unreal, and it can be so easy to forget just how talented both Dom and Chris are when they are working with one of the most talented men in music, the genius that is Matt Bellamy. The falsetto in the intro, you know? Where he actually sings the guitar part, was out of this world. Whether it be in a stadium or leisure centre, they pull out all of the stops while managing to remain so humble, with both feet firmly on the ground.
The highlight of the night for me had to be ‘Unnatural Selection’, which adheres perfectly to the dark, eery tone of not only the new album, but the Psycho tour set lists. It not only shows off Matt’s stunning vocals but his insane guitar expertise – calling him a genius is no exaggeration. He is the master of every instrument he plays, everything Matt Bellamy touches turns to gold. Here is a band that unlike so many others, can jump into whatever genre they want and make it their own. And their ability to bring stadium rock to some of the smallest UK venues just proves that Muse are the best live band in the world right now. Never have I seen a band with such raw live energy, yet with such precision, remaining pitch perfect throughout.
Muse topped off the evening with ‘Reapers’ which is yet to be released, from their forthcoming album Drones, which is definitely going to be up there with the likes of ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ live. A fusion of that classic Muse sound with hints of AC/DC, Metallica and some tapping that would put Eddie Van Halen to shame.
Remember the three young boys that won Battle Of The Bands in 1994? They are untouchable at the moment. And I cannot wait to see what this year has to bring for them, because I am expecting nothing short of spectacular. Muse are officially back and are sounding louder than ever
Plug in Baby
Stockholm Syndrome (with Micro Cuts outro)
Supermassive Black Hole
Knights of Cydonia
Time is Running Out