Review: Muse, Manchester Arena

Lancashire Telegraph: Muse played a spectacular show in Manchester Muse played a spectacular show in Manchester

WHEN you’ve had the label ‘best band in the world’ hung around your shoulders it could prove more albatross than accolade.

But a packed-to-the-rafters Manchester Arena certainly wouldn’t have disagreed with the readers of Q magazine after this spectacular two-hour display.

Visual it’s a stunning affair. What looked pre-concert like a rather dull, horsehoe-shaped stage burst into life as a massive inverted pyramid of video screens seemingly with a life of its own descended from the ceiling.

With a mixture of animation, live footage from the band’s own camera crew and lasers and lights it showed U2 how to use technology without going completely overboard.

But you can have the biggest toy box in the world but in the end it’s the music that counts.

Muse are a strange mix of prog rock, heavy metal, space-age psychedelia and electronica and clearly owe a debt to the likes of Gary Numan and Queen but pull all the strands together in a remarkably powerful fashion.

Diminuitve frontman Matt Bellamy is an enigmatic presence. Scurrying around stage, throwing rock guitar shapes he’s almost childlike in his enthusiasm rather like a youngster acting like one of his heroes. Although lacking real rock god charisma he still manages to be puppet master to the crowds at his feet. An arm raised leads to the entire arena following suit. One clap of the hands and the response is deafening in return.

There’s something almost geeky about his love for slightly overblown anthems.

But it’s perfect for reducing your local enormodrome to something more intimate.

Supermassive Black Hole, as featured in Twilight, was thrown into the set early on; Falling Down was a particular highlight as was the bombastic encore of Starlight and Knights of Cydonia.

As someone new to the whole Muse phenomena they certainly put on a spectacular live show. As for best band in the world? Not for me. Muse are certainly up there with the best but for all the tricks the show was a tad one-dimensional. However I think 20,000 fans in Manchester would vehemently disagree.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:48pm Fri 2 Nov 12

Jon Boreman says...

I was there last night with my 15-year-old daughter. She's a big Muse fan and wanted to be moshing at the front. On the day the tickets went on sale, the standing room seemed to be sold before the tickets went live to the public, so I can only guess those were pre-sold to fan-club members.

One dimensional, yes... but don't tell my daughter I think that. I'm an old rock fan and have been to so many concerts.... I've lost count. But Muse, best band in the world - No from me too. Seemed like one song that went on for two hours... but the crowd loved it. With the exception of one little precious who sat down through the whole gig in front of me, whilst everyone around her stood up and danced. I couldn't work out if she just didn't like Muse, or was wanting more attention from her boyfriend - who was to say the least, having a hell of a time dancing.

I must complain though and I recommend everyone does. Two issues, the website of Manchester Arena clearly states that 35mm cameras are permitted, provided they don't have a detachable zoom lens - so I took a 35mm camera with a 35mm prime lens. And still the staff at the arena insisted on removing it from me, and placing it in their safe. They told me that Muse had insisted that no cameras that would not fit inside a pocket could be taken inside. So they blamed Muse... so, we are expected to believe that Muse are happy with poor quality images of them posted all over the web - which is rather stupid, or they are self centred, money grabbing, tight pigs who want every last penny from their fans. A tad of duplicity perhaps? They will not control us, We will be victorious.... soon they'll be has beens and that's about as guaranteed as death, even if you are not afraid to die - yes... Uprising.


Nevertheless, I told her (the staff member at the arena) I did not believer her and I don't!....... she managed to change and contradict herself without noticing more than she clearly understood she was doing. But I was there with my daughter and not wanting to spoil that - dutifully handed over my camera. Which leads me to the next issue, SECURITY or the lack there of.... when the gig was over, the method used for identifying belongings such as cameras was to identify belongings from a number written on a wristband when it (the item) was handed in.

This method could easily be compromised, hand over a cheap camera, then write on the wristband a number of an accomplices much more expensive camera and collect that. Then a few moments later the accomplice could go to collect their camera and it's not there. The staff being overwhelmed at the end of the gig, definitely did not do any thorough checking... I hope the insurance company are reading this because Manchester Arena and their ability to work simple things out are a major security liability. My camera worth about £1,000 could have easily been taken... but hand over a D4 or similar and we could be talking several thousands of £'s. The wristbands were also not removed once you had collected your camera... nothing to stop you going back a few mins later and saying - my camera please.... hmmmmmmm..... ok - no camera - that'll be over £10,000 instead please! I hope someone gets a kicking over that lack of security judgement.

My advice is simply do not handing anything expensive in at Manchester Arena, they are not security savvy and that is fact.

All in all though, great show, let down only by the venue being lax in security.

Jon
I was there last night with my 15-year-old daughter. She's a big Muse fan and wanted to be moshing at the front. On the day the tickets went on sale, the standing room seemed to be sold before the tickets went live to the public, so I can only guess those were pre-sold to fan-club members. One dimensional, yes... but don't tell my daughter I think that. I'm an old rock fan and have been to so many concerts.... I've lost count. But Muse, best band in the world - No from me too. Seemed like one song that went on for two hours... but the crowd loved it. With the exception of one little precious who sat down through the whole gig in front of me, whilst everyone around her stood up and danced. I couldn't work out if she just didn't like Muse, or was wanting more attention from her boyfriend - who was to say the least, having a hell of a time dancing. I must complain though and I recommend everyone does. Two issues, the website of Manchester Arena clearly states that 35mm cameras are permitted, provided they don't have a detachable zoom lens - so I took a 35mm camera with a 35mm prime lens. And still the staff at the arena insisted on removing it from me, and placing it in their safe. They told me that Muse had insisted that no cameras that would not fit inside a pocket could be taken inside. So they blamed Muse... so, we are expected to believe that Muse are happy with poor quality images of them posted all over the web - which is rather stupid, or they are self centred, money grabbing, tight pigs who want every last penny from their fans. A tad of duplicity perhaps? They will not control us, We will be victorious.... soon they'll be has beens and that's about as guaranteed as death, even if you are not afraid to die - yes... Uprising. Nevertheless, I told her (the staff member at the arena) I did not believer her and I don't!....... she managed to change and contradict herself without noticing more than she clearly understood she was doing. But I was there with my daughter and not wanting to spoil that - dutifully handed over my camera. Which leads me to the next issue, SECURITY or the lack there of.... when the gig was over, the method used for identifying belongings such as cameras was to identify belongings from a number written on a wristband when it (the item) was handed in. This method could easily be compromised, hand over a cheap camera, then write on the wristband a number of an accomplices much more expensive camera and collect that. Then a few moments later the accomplice could go to collect their camera and it's not there. The staff being overwhelmed at the end of the gig, definitely did not do any thorough checking... I hope the insurance company are reading this because Manchester Arena and their ability to work simple things out are a major security liability. My camera worth about £1,000 could have easily been taken... but hand over a D4 or similar and we could be talking several thousands of £'s. The wristbands were also not removed once you had collected your camera... nothing to stop you going back a few mins later and saying - my camera please.... hmmmmmmm..... ok - no camera - that'll be over £10,000 instead please! I hope someone gets a kicking over that lack of security judgement. My advice is simply do not handing anything expensive in at Manchester Arena, they are not security savvy and that is fact. All in all though, great show, let down only by the venue being lax in security. Jon Jon Boreman

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree