Saturday, April 10, 2010

Muse has Lasers!

Last night, Amber and I attended the much anticipated Muse concert in Phoenix. I've watched their live HAARP dvd a thousand times, so it was about time I got to see this band up close and personal. So, I'm gonna lay this post out sequentially as the night unfolded.

At Home/Before Concert: Our babysitter arrived on time and I had prepped my self by watching some of my favorite scenes from the HAARP dvd. The girls were excited to get us out of the house because they had someone new to torture. Before we left, Chelsea asked if we were going to meet the band afterwards, especially since we met the Sounds back in October. I told her that Muse had a small militia keeping the fans away and there was no chance of meeting them. With that, they booted us out and we were on our way fighting rush hour traffic to get to the concert on time.

Arena/Pre-Concert: We got there 45 minutes early and walked right in. Amber made friends with one of the ushers hoping he could sneak us back stage. We found our seats easy and watched the people work their way in. That is when I noticed a couple with backstage passes. "How did they get so lucky to get those?", I thought. Well, the fella was Chester, the lead singer of Linkin Park. I pointed him out to Amber and she wanted to go say hi. Trying not to be the starstruck type, I wanted to stay put, but Amber dragged me over to meet him. There were few people in the arena at that time, so we got to talk to him for a minute. Very nice guy, he was the one to reach out to shake our hands. Amber, not knowing exactly how to break the ice, said "Last time I saw you, you were on Nickelodeon's Kid Choice Awards with your kids!" He laughed calling his kids his "herd". We took a couple of pics and went back to our seats. He and his family sat only 2 rows behind us. We may not have met Muse, but we met someone!
Silversun Pickups: I was looking forward to seeing the Silversun Pickups as nearly as much as Muse. They did not disappoint at all. I smiled through the whole set. Is it okay to smile when yer rockin'? I dunno. Brian Aubert's voice sounded like fog constantly creeping up on a shore while drummer Chris Guanlao was a fury of arms and hair making each beat desperate and profound. It was so fun to see what Aubert could do with his guitar, especially since he plays a double cut-away semi-hollow like I do (typically a jazz guitar). Silversun Pickups are much better live than on CD, which is always a major plus. Best songs of the set: The Royal We, Panic Switch, Well Thought Out Twinkles, and of course Lazy Eye

Muse: The set they used is so hard to describe. I'm sure you could find it on YouTube. Or check out or friend Jen's website here to get a better description than what I could do. There were lasers. Lots and lots of green lasers. Three giant skyscrapers where each member stood projected psychedelic scenes that flashed Orwellian images and scenes of the band and crowd. And near the end a multitude of giant inflated eyeballs were unleashed on the crowd. When they'd pop, red confetti would rain down on the people underneath.
Because I've seen HAARP so much, I knew exactly what song they would play by what type of guitar they would switch to (strange, I know). Matt Bellamy is a thousand-times the guitar player I will ever be. He does things that makes you cock your head and furrow your brow in wonder, questioning how he ever comes up with some of the things he does. Each song was absolutely brilliant. One song, "Super Massive Black Hole" was dedicated to the "Stephanie Freaks" as Matt Bellamy referred to the local Twilight book series fans, knowing Stephanie Meyer was in attendance last night (Phoenix is her hometown). I laughed, nay, I guffawed. However, I told Amber that if they didn't play "Knights of Cydonia" I was going to ask for a refund. Fortunately, Muse did not disappoint. They ended with "Knights" and satiated my appetite to rock.

Post concert impressions: There is no denial as to how talented Muse is. They are quite possibly the most gifted rock band on the planet. And I'm not just saying that to gush. However, I agree with Amber, that a smaller venue would have been more of our preference versus an arena. Only problem, you can't bottle up a band as over-the-top and bombastic as Muse. In addition, the crowd nearly sucked the energy out of the concert. By all accounts coming from Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake, the crowds there were off the hook. Here, everyone was more concerned about dropping their iPhones than fully getting into the music. I saw only TWO crowd surfers for the entire extravaganza. TWO! No pushing, moshing, or the general freaking-out that I'm accustomed to. Just some friendly swaying back and forth and some euro-clapping for the song "Starlight". At the end Matt Bellamy thanked the crowd and told them they "rocked". I couldn't help but wonder if he was joking. Phoenix may not have rocked, but Silversun Pickups and Muse most assuredly did.


Jen said...

Larry, I have been waiting for you to write about this so I could re-live it. (insert girly squeal here) Tac and I were also discussing how a smaller venue would have been more fun, especially for SSPU, but Muse really is spectacular in a huge venue, I love how you described them. And I totally agree with you that they are the best musical group in the world, I don't know as much about music as you do, but every note and sound they produce is perfect and incredible and I marvel at how they made it that way. And yes we totally loved the lasers and the eyeballs, one of them bounced off of Tac's head.

We liked the Seattle crowd for sure. I was pleasantly surprised at how many gen xers there were. I don't know if we had any crowdsurfers either though. We did have tons of energy, yelling, clapping and that surge from the crowd when the band comes out. I had actually forgotten what that feels like. Perhaps people were a little more mello than one would think because the music was so good. Like they didn't want to rough house too much, or they wouldnt be able to hear as well? We did have a fight break out right in front of us though, I was so absorbed in the show I had no idea it was even happening until I had to back up because some poor guy was being hit in the face a lot. The whole night I was really feeling grateful to have gotten floor tickets, it was such a great night!!!

claushausIII said...

So I finaly got my husband to listen to Silversun Pickups last night. They were wedged between The White Stripes and Kaiser Chiefs on an episode of Later...with Jools Holland. It was a great performance of two songs. They were just bursting with energy to burn. I would love to see them live. Lucky. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs had those crazy eyeballs at their show last year, but yours were cooler because they had goodies.