So MUSE basically came into Seattle and KICKED EVERYONE'S ASSES! That was a fantastic show, but I have a few nits to pick.
1. As expected, everyone in front of me on the floor was at least 2 to 3 inches taller. There were moments during the opening band's set where I could only see the drummer's forehead! That sucked. Luckily, as it was general admission, we were able to move about the floor. We went back about 20 feet from where we were and got better sight, but the sound was pretty lousy. Which brings up nit #2.
2. The sound at the Paramount, to my ears, was crappy. WAY WAY WAY too much bass. And this is from a bassist! It was just muddy and overpowering. Even standing 10 feet in front of the sound guy did nothing to make the band sound better. It wasn't until we moved to the back corner of the room, to a semi-balcony-ish area, did the sound get better. In fact, I even took out my plugs to hear the sound unfiltered. It sounded great. For a few songs. Then, evidently, the sound guy pumped the bass again and we all went scrambling for the earplugs.
I guess that's it as far as nits go. So how was the show?
Pretty damn good.
Matt was stage left with his cool-ass, cock-eyed mic stand; Dom sat behind a clear Plexiglass(?) Tama kit on risers; Chris stood stage right, sans bass rig, as he evidently was going direct. And between Dom and Chris was a mysterious 4th member who played keyboards with his back to the crowd for much of the evening.
They opened with Take a Bow, off of the new record, Black Holes and Revelations. It's not my favorite song, but, as with most of MUSE's non-rocking tunes, hearing them live gives them much needed energy.
Did someone say energy?
They hit it out of the park with the second song, Hysteria, from their third (and arguably most popular and successful) release Absolution. As cool as the main riff is on CD, live, it's something to behold. This song is FULL ON ENERGY and the crowd went nuts.
I don't recall the actual song list, but know they played the epic Butterflies and Hurricanes (also from Absolution) early in the evening. If someone who had never heard a MUSE song asked me to play a MUSE song, this would be the song I'd play. Great dynamics, frenetic guitar, dramatic builds, and amazing pianowork in the breakdown. Some may think it's over the top, but to me, it's art. There! I said it!
Another amazing moment was in the song Invincible off of BH&R. It's a slow build, with a march-like drum beat, arpeggiated guitar, quarter-notes on the bass. The first 2/3rds of the song are actually a little boring. Then they get to the little bass breakdown, which leads to the guitar solo.
Now, on CD, it's a cool little solo. Lots of shrieks and squeals and hammer-ons. Live? Get out of here. It was f*cking amazing. Matt's going on, doing two-hand tapping on the neck. From where we stood, I could see clearly what he was doing (or as clear as things get from the back of the auditorium), and it made my hair stand on end. It was so intense and inspired, I was blown away. Just amazing.
MUSE went through the night and busted out (in no particular order) Apocalypse Please, Muscle Museum, Stockholm Syndrome, Feeling Good, Knights of Cydonia(!!!), New Born, Plug In Baby, Time Is Running Out, Supermassive Black Hole, Starlight, Map of the Problematique, Bliss, and the aforementioned songs. I think I got 'em all.
Just a great show. I am so glad they came here; originally they were stopping at Portland.
If you ever get the chance to see MUSE, GO SEE THEM. They do not disappoint.