Last Night: Muse at Toyota Center

Categories: Aftermath

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Photos by Julian Bajsel
Muse
Toyota Center
March 12, 2013

There are certain types of bands you expect to pack arenas: bands who have figured out the power of pop hooks (Maroon 5), bands who play the most populist modern rock imaginable (Nickelback), and the dinosaurs of classic rock (Fleetwood Mac).

Muse could have been any of these things. If they wanted, they could probably write funkier, catchier hooks than Maroon 5. They could have a catalog of heartfelt ballads and rockers stronger than Nickelback's. Okay, maybe they can't be a dinosaur of classic rock, but that's just because we don't have time machines yet.

Instead, Muse is a band that wears its influences on its collective sleeve, mixing and matching them to create a sound that is uniquely their own. A lot of bands cite Queen and Rage Against the Machine as influences, but most of them don't understand the difference between ripping them off and refining their sound.

Whether you like the music or not, fans of rock should at least find Muse's existence as an arena-rock group reaffirming. How many bands could write a track as silly as "Knights of Cydonia" AND pack big venues?

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In the same way they've taken their musical influences and refined them into a sound that is their own, Muse has managed to take the arena-rock experience and refine it into a presentation that's familiar but not boring.

Matt Bellamy has all of the moves of a rock star without any of the boring excess. He doesn't stop the show to tell everyone how much he likes alcohol or repeatedly encourage them to make more noise. Instead he uses theatricality to wring out every bit of emotion -- real or not -- he can from a song, frequently dropping to his knees to show just how much he's feeling the moment or how cool you can look playing guitar while on your knees.

He also walks around in a pair of sunglasses during "Madness," but since the song sounds like a U2 B-side, I assume that's just him getting in touch with his inner Bono.

Still, it's refreshing to go to a show where, even with the big stage and multiple video screens, the music remains the most important part of the event. Blasting through 19 songs in just under two hours, there was something for old and new Muse fans alike, from the more straightforward rock of 2001's "New Born" to last year's dubstep-influenced "Unsustainable." For all the outcry that song got last year, it slays in the live environment.


Location Info

Map

Toyota Center

1510 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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13 comments
Dustin Keele
Dustin Keele

AC/DC, Kid Rock, Pretty Reckless I went to the Muse concert to simply see Dead Sara, then left after 2 Muse songs played. Muse was awful!

Rob Torres
Rob Torres

Linkin Park, again (I hate CWMP). Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters

Stanley Smith
Stanley Smith

MUSE could actually fill the Toyota Center? Well, there's no accounting for taste.

Deborah Harris
Deborah Harris

The ones I'd like to see are ones with deceased lead singers. Like Nirvana and Alice In Chains although the new lead singe is of AIC is good just not as angsty as Lane. I'm gonna go watch an AIC musics video now.

tonyv77
tonyv77

Muse is without a doubt on the forefront of rock and proved it last night at the Toyota center. Im an experienced concert attendee and have seen many live mega bands before including U2, The Stones, Metallica, and Coldplay. I can honestly say this was easily the best concert I've been to. When you combine their wide range of music styles, theatrics, lighting, stage fx's, incredible live sound (they sounded exactly like their studio recording except live) and Matt's guitar shredding skills, you end up with last night. Truly Epic. Im glad there are still bands that can do this at this level and keep Rock alive!

dermgerm
dermgerm

There was an increase in entropy, right? Because I was under the impression that their latest album was based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Dave275
Dave275

Muse's live show last night?
This is the kind of rock concert spectacle that a couple of great hit songs can buy you if you work hard and pay your dues.
What I saw last night was an arena act ready made for the A.D.D. generation.
Even when the show's pacing dragged at times---the "over-the-topness" more than made up for some of the weaker parts.

Personally, I thought Muse played on full auto-pilot last night, but their show was really something you just had to see.

I wonder if Clapton will use any lasers or dry-ice on Saturday?

Wouldn't that be something?


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