Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Muse - Nassau Coliseum - October 23, 2010

While I haven't followed these guys from the beginning, I did have the benefit of enjoying them before they received massive exposure from playing award shows, Twilight soundtracks and as the opening act for such notable contemporary blowhards like U2, I was nonetheless disappointed by their concert, a mostly lifeless and mechanical rendering of their songs, and many popular singles at that. I suppose this is what comes at the price of filling up giant arenas and having legions of newly-minted mindless head-bobbers who want anthems and ballads and sing-alongs, elaborate stage wizardry and lights (which were cool, no complaints) and a general feel-good time. I was less than pleased at the unquestionably short 90 minute length of the show, the lack of an encore (unless two minutes before "Exogenesis" counts as an encore), and the enormous technical mistake, hereafter referred to as THE WTF MOMENT. Midway through Bellamy's warbling erratic wah wah sequence of the solo in "New Born," the sound suddenly got sucked out of the Coliseum. With a moment reflecting the sheer incredulity of his audience, Bellamy threw his hands up as if to say, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?, and the band promptly left the stage for a few minutes. To their credit, in rather humorous fashion, the band began again right smack at the heart of the solo, a testament perhaps more to their pristine routine than anything else. What else? Bellamy, an absolutely phenomenal vocalist, composer, pianist and guitarist was pretty much absent from the keys, only playing two songs if I recall, a marked departure from what made this band so unique.

So was anything good? Yes, "Knights" was amazing. Maybe the band was happy they were ending the show, I don't know, but it was energetic and provided a glimpse of why this band used to be so dynamic. Ditto for "Stockholm Syndrome," "Hysteria," "Problematique," "Eurasia," and a few others. The interlude "jams" were also interesting, if not for the fact that I had heard them "spontaneously" played before as well, in addition to some brief minute covers of "House of the Rising Sun," "Star Spangled Banner," some Zeppelin, etc. All in all, a very disappointing show by a band I fear has become hideously enslaved by the fickle whims of a commercial consuming public, despite the fact that I still love most of their music. It's a shame such amazing talent gets wasted for people who have no true appreciation for what they are hearing and are more concerned with waving their hands, taking obnoxious pictures and video with their iPhones and feeling bedazzled by visual displays, which, ultimately, hide the fact that the band is bored and should never be allowed to play "Undisclosed Desires" ever. C

Here's what I thought was the setlist:

Map of the Problematique
New Born
Super Massive Black Hole
Guiding Light
United States of Eurasia
Feeling Good
Undisclosed Desires
Time Is Running Out
Plug In Baby
Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)
Stockholm Syndrome
Knights of Cydonia


Joe Schmoe said...

I totally agree with this post. I was there and had a few observations. First off, the crowd absolutely blew. I remember seeing Rush at the Nassaus Coliseum in 1989 and the sound from the crowd was so deafening you couldn't even think. At the MUSE show, I thought I was at a classical music concert. I could even here people a few rows behind me having a fucking conversation in between songs.

Of couse, I also have the usual gripes with these modern crowds spending most of their time with their fucking videophones and "tweeting" about their "experiences." FUCK YOU ASSHOLES! No fucking wonder we're being taken over by the NWO.

That said, I also thought the band was lifeless as hell. Maybe after the sound blew out, the system wasn't working right, but I swear I could not hear the drums or bass from where I was sitting.

Overall a very dissapointing show, made all the worse by the absolutely wrtched state of modern music fans. If only a MEtalhead from 1984 could be transported to these times. Man, those guys and gals knew how to have a fun concert!

Jeff said...

I was at this show too, where were you sitting? I had floor seats.

I have a slightly different view of the show. I agree that the crowd was somewhat lame, although there were definitely some good people on the floor. I also agree that the show was a little on the short side, I would have liked some songs from Showbiz or maybe even "New Born" again, but I don't think the show was unreasonably short. I thought their stage presence was pretty solid as well, Belamy is obviously limited in what he can do on stage due to the fact that he has an instrument in his hands, so the lasers and lights make up for that. I also thought they performed the songs really well - "Plug In Baby", "Stockholm Syndrome", "Knights of Cydonia", "Uprising", "Maps of the Problematique" and even "New Born" (minus the WTF MOMENT) were all awesome to name a few. From where I was I thought the sound mix was perfect, I heard the bass and drums crystal clear - no problems at all on the front. If I were to grade the show I would give it a B maybe even a B+.

Jeff said...

Just to clarify my earlier comment, I guess I shouldn't have said floor seats, I was GA on the floor.

The Mad Hatter said...


When I went to both Waters' shows the past few week or so, the same thing struck me: concert-goers nowadays suck royal elephant ass. I mean, why are they even there? They have no respect for the music, the magic, other fans, maybe not even themselves. That coliseum was filled with bubbly bobble-heads with no regard for anything other than their perceived right to life, liberty and the pursuit of tweetiness. Sound-wise, I thought it was okay for the most part, but I swear I heard certain speakers popping in and out throughout the show. It wasn't a big deal, since I was already become indifferent to the atmosphere.


I was up and slightly left of the stage, at a perfect angle to see Bellamy. Being a little lower would have been the only possible improvement for my seating. I honestly thought there was an intended organization of the song selection to make the entire middle section a poppy, sing-along treatise to woo the airhead fans. They started off strong and ended strong and the middle was just this muddled plateau of sorts. Granted, they can't play everything, but for a band of this caliber, I expected a few more songs -- maybe "MK Ultra," "Butterflies and Hurricanes," or "Micro Cuts" -- something to make the show at least two hours. And no, Bellamy is not limited; their vision of stage production limited him; if he didn't have to be on the lifted stage, he could have played more piano. I mean, seriously, look up any youtube video of "New Born" and he's got an upright keyboard that he plays the opening notes with the guitar strapped to him. He's shown it's not hard for him. The guy is phenomenal -- anything less is just laziness, boredom or a tap-out in favor of the light show and stage presentation.