3.17.2010

Muse

I recently started listening to Q101 alternative whenever I get sick of Lady GaGa or the other overly-repeated stuff. There was this song I heard a couple of times on the radio. It was so powerful and anti-institution that it completely grabbed me.

I finally decided/remembered to look it up. It was Muse's Uprising. What an interesting coincidence, I thought. I had just met with my thesis adviser (March 9) and mentioned that, because of some personal issues lately, I had sort of lost my muse. Had I found another type of muse to inspire me? :)

As I was reading up on Muse I realized they had a concert that same week. So just as the significant other was saying how much he liked the song I was playing on YouTube, I decided to get tickets while I tried to convince him to join me. On Friday (March 12) we went to see their concert at the United Center. It was spectacular.

After familiarizing myself with a few of their songs on YouTube I really liked their sound and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see them live. Their music is all about soulful and counter-institution vocals. They have some amazing guitar riffs and excellent drums (Dominic Howard is a drum god, seriously).

The delivery makes it all come together like an amazing recipe. It's all in the delivery. And this band is a showstopper in concert.


I think that the best surprise during the concert was their cover of Ennio Morricone's Man with a Harmonica during the beginning of Knights of Cydonia. That song is pure genius. It's an excellent headbanging song too.

The lead singer, Matt Bellamy, has a little bit of Freddie Mercury in him. Bellamy has an amazing range, from a mournful alternative/indie rocker to falsetto. This comes out especially during their song United States of Eurasia, which is a fusion song with a little bit of Greek or Middle Eastern, soulful vocals, and a touch of Queen-style harmony towards the end.

You can hear bits and pieces here and there in their discography, that sound vaguely familiar, such as some sounds that Depeche Mode, Jimi Hendrix, or grunge rockers would play. It's familiar but so fresh.

I found out later that Bellamy's dad was bass guitarist for The Tornados, another amazing group--a surf guitar/rock band. You can hear a little bit of the surf guitar in some of the songs, which is Bellamy's way to pay homage to his dad. Speaking of dads, Dom Howard's dad passed away during one of Muse's concerts a few years ago. Tragic.

All I can say about the third band member, Wolstenholme, is that he looks really hot in his "I'm a guitar rock god" pose during concerts. ^_^; He kind of looks hot in any pose actually. He is also a talented guitarist and did an amazing, amazing job in the harmonica solo during Knights of Cydonia, for the Ennio Morricone cover.

Today I went to Best Buy during my lunch hour and bought four of their CDs. I'm working through their discography with their latest and working backwards.

I can't wait to see what else these guys come up with. They're truly a hard act to follow, but a very enjoyable one to watch.