March 13, 2010

Concert Review: Muse w/ Silversun Pickups @ United Center in Chicago - 3/12/10

If you at the United Center for the Muse show last night, you should have been.

But let me back up for a minute. The Silversun Pickups put on a set worthy of at least some note. I've always like their style, and Brian Aubert's voice is interesting if not really quite good. I think, ultimately, their music doesn't lend itself well to an arena show, but rather something that would be better suited for a club like the Aragon or a festival setting a la Lollapalooza last year, where they put on one hell of a set. Which brings me to the meat of the subject.

Muse "appeared on stage" to the roar of the crowd (pictures to follow, which will explain the quotes), and led off with their current single "Uprising." When the curtains fell, the crowd was in a frenzy, the floor bounced in synchronicity with arms held high and sang along as Matt Bellamy at long last started to fulfill his promise of a show to redeem their Lolla '07 performance. Though well-received, they acknowledged after that performance that they owed the city of Chicago something more. As would be expected with a show like this, there were few lulls in the action. Even in the seated sections, few sat for much of the show.

Although it continued throughout the show, the most impressive moment came at the beginning of "Resistance" when the light show started in earnest. Few combine music and visuals to this extent, and very few do it better than Muse. The lasers were everywhere, the strobes were going nuts, and all the while, the music just kept on driving forward.

"Supermassive" found Bellamy on a part of the stage practically overhanging the crowd, and they thanked him for it. Shortly after, Christopher Wolstenholme showcased his talent on "Hysteria," which as expected, was one of the high moments for the show. And shortly after, something I didn't expect happened, the pillars raised back up with Bellamy playing the coolest piano I've seen in quite some time. Every time he hit a note, a different light in the soundboard of the piano lit up. More impressive was the cover of "Feeling Good" which was done quite well.

The main set ended with a string of some of their biggest hits, "Starlight," "Time Is Running Out," and "Plug In Baby." These songs found Bellamy doing power slides, laying on the stage playing a solo, and oddly twirling across the stage while continuing to keep rhythm with the band. As the set ended during plug in baby, giant eyeball balloons fell from the rafters and entertained the crowd during the encore break.

Although the set was fairly similar to that of the MSG show last weekend, there was one noticeable difference. Rather than play a long, relatively unknown song off their new album to close the set, they moved "Unnatrual Selection" to the middle of a string of hits, which helped carry the energy from the end of "Plug In Baby" right into the encore which included "Stockholm Syndrome" and Muse's biggest U.S. hit "Knights of Cydonia." The show ended with Bellamy once again on the ground and some pretty intense pyrotechnics to put the exclamation point on a fantastic set.

Photos and Set List after the jump...


New Born
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
Guiding Light
United States Of Eurasia
Feeling Good
Helsinki Jam
Undisclosed Desires
Unnatural Selection
Time Is Running Out
Plug In Baby

Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: Overture
Stockholm Syndrome
Knights of Cydonia

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