For those not entirely familiar, Muse performs a dramatic and satisfying blend of prog rock and electronics with some classical influences, at times Queen-reminiscent vocals, and – according to Matthew Bellamy – are influenced by the guitar stylings of Jimi Hendrix and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave). Their live shows are said to be pretty amazing, and listening to a live version of “Knights Of Cydonia” from Wembley Stadium right now, I’d say it will probably be one of those exhilarating concert experiences. On this current U.S. tour, they’re joined by the superbly marvelous Silversun Pickups, whom I very highly recommend to anyone not familiar with them. I had the great pleasure of seeing SSPU in Hartford last year, and it’s exciting to see them perform in venues such as Madison Square Garden. Really exciting.
Muse first formed in 1992 in Teignmouth, England (apparently first as a goth/glam band called Rocked Baby Dolls), and 18 years later, impressively still consists of the three core members – Matthew Bellamy on lead vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, keytar, synthesizers, and programming; Christopher Wolstenholme on bass, backing vocals, synthesizers, upright bass, and synth bass; and Dominic Howard – drums, percussion, synthesizers, and programming. They’ve released five full-length studio recordings, the latest being Resistance, which is the first of their albums to be self-produced. In the history of the band, their strong belief in themselves and their music has caused them to butt heads at times with their major labels. In 2003, Maverick Records wanted the band to change a few songs to be more “radio-friendly” before the U.S. release of Origin of Symmetry which led to a split and the album was released by Warner Music. Most recently, the band have been very vocal about Warner Music’s decision to pull their artists’ new material from free streaming sites such as Spotify and We 7, believing, rightly so, that this decision hurts promotion efforts in trying to reach potential new fans.
In any case, it’s about the music! So if you’ve got a little cash to spare and are looking for something considerably bigger than the average club experience, check ’em out.
Muse Discography: Showbiz (1999), Origin of Symmetry (2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006), HAARP (2008, Live at Wembley Stadium 2007), The Resistance (2009).
Silversun Pickups are one of the best known bands out of the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, and a proud musical scene it is. Brian Aubert (vocals/guitar), Nikki Monninger (bass/vocals), Joseph Lester (keyboards) and Christopher Guanlao (drums) came together around 2005, first releasing their debut EP Pikul (2005), and then their debut album Carnavas (2006), from which “Lazy Eye” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles” ended up in the “top 10” of Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks. Last year they released Swoon which has given them far greater exposure and helped earn them a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist”, even though they’re really not (not new, that is).
They have a great sound, with Brian’s fuzzy guitar distortion and distinctive voice, Nikki’s lovely backing vocals and thumping bass, Chris’s explosive drumming, and Joe’s sonic keyboard experiments… well, you can read my gushing over their Hartford show from last October. Brian’s reaction to the sold out 1200-capacity crowd was “holy shit! turn on the lights!” I wonder how he’s going to feel at Madison Square Garden…
Check out their performance of “Panic Switch” on Jimmy Kimmel:
East Coast Shows
March 2 – Wachovia Center – Philadelphia, PA
March 3 – 1st Mariner Arena – Baltimore, MD
March 5 – Madison Square Garden – NYC, NY
March 6 – TD Banknorth Garden – Boston, MA