Thursday, February 01, 2007

Muse Deliver!

I'm sick of people knocking Melbourne's Festival Hall. Buried away on Dudley St, near the docks, surrounded by warehouses, people whinge 'it smells', 'it's too hot', 'the floor's sticky' etc. etc. But you know what, having seen two of the best gigs I've attended (and I DO mean ever, the other being Nick Cave in 2005) within the space of 18 months, I can say it is one of the BEST places to see a big-name band. The sweat, the smell, the heat and the adhesiveness only add to a rock and roll experience which is generally sorely missing in any venue that houses over 1,000 people. But enough of that.
I'm here to talk about the face-melting awesomeness that was Muse last night at that very venue. And my face has been very much melted. Opening with the first track of 2006s Black Holes and Revelations, 'Take a Bow', complete with dazzling light show (something that did not let up for the entirety of the show and was probably the most effective use of video and computer imagery at a show I've yet seen - apologies to Sigur Ros), Muse proceeded to rock Festy Hall and all within its confines to within an inch of their lives. Recently, I commented on the performance of the Arctic Monkeys at the Palace, and how the show had been over-rehearsed to death. Well, this was no less choreographed, yet managed to be thrilling in a way no live show has been for me (with the possible exception of last year's TV on the Radio show at the Hi Fi). Ever. Moving seamlessly from belters like 'Hysteria' from 2003s Absolution to the more synth-heavy numbers of the new record, Muse established themselves as one of the live acts in the world right now. Highlight of the night was the crazy, martial Invincible, which climaxed with a guitar solo that must have left many aspiring axemen in the crowd shaking their heads in wonder and resignation.
I can recommend nothing more to anyone, fan or not, than to go see Muse next time they're in town. You won't regret it.
PS: Special mention to support act Ground Components (a favourite of Machines Against the Rage from way back) who put on a terrific show in front of a semi-hostile crowd of ignorant wanks who obviously had no intention of broadening their horizons past Muse one iota. They showed that should success beckon, they're definitely up to the task of performing big arena shows such as this, numbers such as (and especially) On Your Living Room Floor standing out.
PPS: Special arse-kicking for the event organisers who decided to put an 8pm door time on the ticket, only to have the support act start at 7.55. Dickheads.

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