fri 18/09/2020

Muse, Emirates Stadium | reviews, news & interviews

Muse, Emirates Stadium

Muse, Emirates Stadium

Flamboyant pomp rockers do battle with an awful venue

Mr Kate Hudson in action

For all the video projections and pyrotechnics that accompanied it, Muse’s entrance onto the Emirates stage last night was disappointingly anticlimactic. This was partly because there was still so much daylight in the stadium but, mainly, it was down to there being so many empty seats. Maybe earlycomers had been driven to the bar by support act Dizzee Rascal’s constant refrains of "let's go fucking mental." Or possibly it was just a bad day on the tube.

For all the video projections and pyrotechnics that accompanied it, Muse’s entrance onto the Emirates stage last night was disappointingly anticlimactic. This was partly because there was still so much daylight in the stadium but, mainly, it was down to there being so many empty seats. Maybe earlycomers had been driven to the bar by support act Dizzee Rascal’s constant refrains of "let's go fucking mental." Or possibly it was just a bad day on the tube. Whatever the truth, the stadium felt horribly devoid of any kind of atmosphere. It was going to be an uphill job to conquer it.

Muse responded with a concert of two halves. The first was a fairly conventional rock gig. Despite the hefty budget and lavish screens, up on the stage there was nothing more fancy than a drum kit, a keyboard and the three band members. On songs like "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Panic Station" they grafted extremely hard.

A giant lightbulb floated across the audience. When the song neared its end a trapeze artist spilled out

Musicians are often described as having instruments that seem like extensions of their bodies. It has never been truer than when applied to Matt Bellamy and his guitar. There can’t be anyone else alive so effortlessly able to play one thing, sing another, and then run across a stage like a ferret. Chris Wolstenholme on bass and Dominic Howard on drums weren't half bad either.

Still, it wasn’t until "Knights of Cydonia", when 40,000 people spontaneously started jumping up and down, that the band really began to own the Emirates. Until then everything had seemed a little distant. During the banker-bashing song "Animals", for instance, when fake money was sprayed around the stalls, the dynamics of the venue made it hard for the audience to really engage with what was going on.

But once the sun went down everything changed. The visual focus was now more emphatic, and Bellamy and co brought a renewed sense of theatre to some of their more flamboyant and idiosyncratic numbers.

The musical highlight came halfway during “Madness.” For the first part of the number Bellamy had worn a pair of dark glasses, and sung into a camera which projected his face 40-foot high. Then he stepped away from the camera, strapped on his guitar and played that inimitable solo so nonchalanty it knocked everyone’s socks off. The lowlight was when Chris Wolstenholme sang “Liquid State.” I appreciate that it refers to a very painful time in his life, but it was still just a racket.

Special mention must go to the rather lovely interlude when the band occupied the B-stage at the end of the catwalk. During “Unintended” the stadium was lit like a starry night by lighters and smartphones. On “Blackout” a giant lightbulb floated across the audience. When the song neared its end a trapeze artist spilled out. After the interlude was over and the band returned to the main stage, they were joined by a huge robot called Charlie singing “Unsustainable”. The last three quarters of an hour became the musical equivalent of watching a Doctor Who special.

They gave us a little over two hours of what is an increasingly treasured repertoire. It might have taken a little while to get going but by the final songs of the night – the rousing “Uprising” and “Starlight” - it was undeniably Muse 1, Emirates Stadium 0.

Watch the video for the new single "Panic Station"

The last three quarters of an hour became the musical equivalent of watching a 'Doctor Who' special

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

1) it wasnt money it was slips you get when buying shares or at the stock exchange. 2) following your obvious lack of attention made by point A as someone in the crowed there was nothing anti climactic about it. the stage work was amazing and when you are a band like muse the fans want to see one thing ...the band. 3)the atmosphere before muse came on wasnt great mainly due to a horrible choice of support act, but when they came on the crowed went mental for every song. the whole show was amazing and i was gutted the leave. the ONLY two problems with the night were that it didnt go on long enough and getting the train and tube home.

Did you go to the same gig as everyone else? The stadium was filled to the brim! I looked around and there was barely any empty seats anywhere! The gig was amazing and they played stuff from all their albums! The entire gig was good not just a part of it! And you have clearly never watched Doctor Who before either if you are making comparisons there.

1) I agree the band put on a great show 2) I stick by my statement that when they came on, the pitch area was only 2/3rds full. Moreover, to begin with, most of the seats behind the pitch were empty 3) Afterwards I heard a lot of people were saying they wished it had been at the O2 - I was not alone in thinking it was a horrible venue!

Obviously written by a resentful Spurs fan. In short the show was amazing! Been going to gigs for over 30 years and this is in my top 5 of all time. Brilliant.

And please don't refer to Mat Bellamy as Mr Kate Hudson... no disrespect to Kate but really....

Forgot to add, I think that the empty seats at the back were unreserved seats for standees, they did that at Wembley a few years ago. I suspect that any empty seats elsewhere were the result of tout buying up tickets and trying, unsuccessfully, to flog them at silly prices... Muse fans do not buy from touts.

I agree with everything written in this review - such a disappointment - I'd been waiting so long to see Muse play too :( At one point the people standing near us even started booing. I heard excellent reviews of their gig at the O2 though, hope they play there again and this time I manage to get some tickets.

This review is mostly correct, if a little skewed from an obvious Arsenal hater. Yes there were empty seats, but these were mostly in the ‘restricted viewing’ areas immediately behind the standing section and behind speakers etc. Yes the standing area appeared 2/3rds full when Muse came on, but I’ve never been to a gig (in 30 years) when everybody was in attendance right at the start – a lot of people tend to mill around until the main act has come on, and this was no exception, plus the standing area never appears 100% full at any stadium concert. Also, a lot of the impact of Muse’s opening was lost in the daylight – but the band played to their strengths by selecting a play list which grew stronger as the evening progressed, which benefitted the fading sunlight, and once darkness had arrived the stage set was absolutely mind blowing. I’ve seen Pink Floyd, and I’ve seen U2, and Muse are in the same league in terms of amazing concerts. So the reviewer dissing the stadium was both cheap, stupid and ultimately untrue – in full swing the concert sounded and looked spectacular. My only gripe is that they didn’t play Hysteria, but otherwise it was a superb performance in a fantastic stadium.

Absolutely well said! I agree with everything "Anonymous" said (shame didn't leave some sort of name) The Emirates is a purpose-buit FOOTBALL stadium and a wonderful one at that, I returned for Green Day on June 1st with a friend who is a fully card-carrying Tottenham fan and even she was glowing with praise at the stadium and its design and facilities. Let's be honest, the acoustics are not the best for music, BUT the issue around the empty seats was the resticted viewing and also health and safety - they have to have room for people to 'escape' to, hance the swathe of unreserved seating in the lower tier. The gig itself was magnificent, I've seen Muse live three times now - at O2, Wembley and now Emirates in this was the best gig in all aspects. These stadium gigs do come alive when the sun goes down - but the same is true at Wembley, at MK Bowl and Knebworth (now there is an awful venue) but certainly no worse at Emirates. I'd love to know what football team the original reviewer supports becasue quite frankly it comes across as petty and bitter...

Absolutely well said! I agree with everything "Anonymous" said (shame didn't leave some sort of name) The Emirates is a purpose-buit FOOTBALL stadium and a wonderful one at that, I returned for Green Day on June 1st with a friend who is a fully card-carrying Tottenham fan and even she was glowing with praise at the stadium and its design and facilities. Julia @ http://www.serplinker.com

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