On 10th September, I went to Wembley for what I knew would be the show of a lifetime, and I have to say, it certainly met my expectations.
This was the first time I have visited the stadium, and it was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. The sheer size and capacity was astounding! We had relatively good seats and despite being a long distance away from the stage, the two huge screens either side of the stage were more than enough for us to see everything in detail.
We arrived in time to see Lily Allen, the last of three support acts, who was on impressive form, belting out hit after hit. However, halfway through her set, on came Professor Green, and judging by the reaction from the crowd, he was relatively well-known!? Personally, I’ve never heard of him, however this was a true sign, as if you would ever need any more proof, that Muse are now a fully mainstream, chart-dominating band. Anyway, I can’t say that I’ve been converted to a Professor Green fan, as it seems that he just shouted over original Lily Allen songs, adding nothing at all to the music.
Any doubts that I had about Professor Green were completely forgotten about as Muse took to the stage. We were instantly bombarded by the huge sound that Muse have become known for, the same sound that makes them perfectly suited for playing stadium shows.
As Muse took to the stage, the crowd erupted into crazed screams and cheers. I remember hearing that there was about 80,00 people who turned up on on the night – not bad for a band that used to sprinkle themselves in confetti in order to provide a ‘good live performance.’ There is no denying that Muse have travelled thousands of miles musically since they first began in 1994,however this may soon no longer be a metaphor as this is the band who said they they wanted to be the first ever band to play in SPACE!!!
Anyhow, the setlist consisted largely of many of the huge hits and crowd pleasers that you would expect at this kind of show, such as Hysteria, Supermassive Black Hole, Feeling Good, New Born, Time Is Running Out, Butterflies And Hurricanes (complete with beautiful piano solo!), Plug In Baby and Starlight of course, as well as many hits from the new album, such as the Queen-esque United States of Eurasia, the 80’s-style Undisclosed Desires, the rousing Resistance and the hit single Uprising.
However, when going to a show at Wembley Stadium, you know that the songs themselves will only make up about half of the experience, the rest depends on atmosphere and the effects. Now, when it comes to effects, Muse are on a completely different level. Fronted by the eccentric Matt Bellamy, you are guaranteed for a completely out-of-this-world show in terms of the staging and effects used. As for the stage, the outside of the stage was designed to look like a huge, tilted skyscraper, which served as projectors for huge images of the band throughout the night. There were numerous firework and pyrotechnic displays throughout, as expected, but this was only a tiny proportion of the completely over the top, yet fantastic visual displays! In 2007, Muse took to the stage flanked by men in neon yellow radioactivity suits, whereas this year, we saw a politically edged theme take over, with flag waving protesters making their way across the front of the stage, accompanied by images of anti-war protests across the world.
The real surpirse of the night came when a giant UFO was released from behind the stage, and began to float around the stadium. As if this was not eccentirc enough, a leotard-clad woman soon dropped from the UFO’s underbelly, and began floating almost at touching distance from the cloud.
The night drew to an end, as expected with an amazing rendition of Knights of Cydonia, with haunting harmonica intro played by Chris.
To finish off, this was one of the best shows, if not the best, that I have ever been to see. The combination of lighting, staging, the atmosphere and the truly incredible sound that I never knew could be made by just three people was really amazing. Muse will go on to much greater things, I am sure, and this may even include playing in space, if they carry on at their current rate!! If you get the chance to see Muse, ignore the expensive ticket price that you are bound to find attached, and take the opportunity to see one of the best bands on earth today!