Muse at Wembley Review
Wembley Stadium, London Saturday, September 11
Since the release of their debut album “Showbiz” in 1991, Muse’s career has taken on a new worldwide aspect. After almost two decades of hard work devoted to creating and performing music, the group can easily boast of a superstar’s status, which once again had been reflected during its spectacular concert at Wembley Stadium last month. The band has been on their ongoing tour for over a year now. However, this particular performance was billed to be one of the highlights of past twelve months, and as a matter of fact, it turned out to be as breathtaking as expected.
On 11th September the village of Wembley became one of the busiest areas of northwest London, with a huge amount of Muse fans coming over to experience probably one of the most awaited gigs of 2010. From the earliest morning hours it was possible to capture a nervous feeling of anticipation and excitement hanging in the air. Some people had already been queuing a night before – what an insane commitment, just to get the best spot, right at the top of the stage!
Wembley opened after 4pm, and surprisingly let in the concert goers in a fast, distressful way. Saturday’s supporting acts featured: I Am Arrows, White Lies and Biffy Clyro – quite appealing combination, which provided warming-up entertainment before the headliners.
The evening began with I Am Arrows, a little stressfully (probably their first appearance at Wembley), even though effectively encouraging gathering crowds to join in and sing along to their indie-orientated songs. Afterwards, White Lies took over the stage with a strong impact of deep tone of main vocalist’s voice. However, it was not strong enough to move slightly uninterested audience, which slowly started to fill in the gaps of the stadium’s rows of seats.
The atmosphere at Wembley started to change as soon as Biffy Clyro came on stage. Suddenly, the stadium became more crowded, as everyone had to squeeze in a little. Some people were getting excited, the others more drunk, but the arousing overall excitement could have been felt. An even stronger connection inside the crowd appeared as the first notes of “That Golden Rule” hit their ears. The Scottish band put an excellent, energetic performance playing its well-known hits, as well as heavier stuff from early albums.
The hours flew fast, it got dark, and before anyone realized, the time for the biggest act had come. The mood changed dramatically, as the audience was impatiently facing the stage. The anticipation broke off the moment the performance started, and transformed into wave of applause. Muse kicked off in an effective manner, recruiting large number of performers who went down the stage carrying flags to welcome the audience. “Uprising” has opened the set, and then was followed by around twenty other Muse songs. The excellence of the musicians’ skill to perform live (with good reason Muse has been claimed one of the best live bands), purity and amazing strength of Wembley’s sound system, and the improbably spectacular visual effects turned up stadium’s temperature to its highest peak. Even a short drizzle at the beginning of the gig did not manage to cool down a musically possessed crowd.
Muse had chosen a brilliant selection of songs, starting from up-beat hits like “Time Is Running Out”, through musical masterpieces such as “Citizen Erased”, finishing with unexpected early compositions like “Ruled by Secrecy”. The band performed variety of arrangements which took in on a new sound. As befits Muse, the performance did not lack instrumental passages. This time Dom (drums) and Chris (bass) presented three minutes of frantic Drum&Bass improvisation, while spinning around on a spiral mini-stage.
One of the most astonishing moments featured the emergence of a giant inflatable UFO, which flew across the stadium, carrying attached dancing acrobat along. The performance also included fireworks, sparklers and confetti to amuse the audience. It was actually difficult not to forget oneself during this glamorous show, which might have been considered over-the-top. However, what made Wembley Stadium so special that night was the unusual atmosphere, feeling of unity caused by the integrity of the same experience.
The band had played for over two hours (including encores), not at once giving an impression of being tired. After “Knights of Cydonia” (as it could have been expected – last song of the gig), the musicians left the stage, the stadium lights went on, and the crowd started to decrease. The show was over, leaving an inside feeling of fulfillment in its audience. All in all, this mesmerizing event would be hard to forget, and to experience again. All the aspects, from the smallest visual details displayed on the screens, to the Muse’s brilliance of their live performance, created a fabulous whole, a concert out of this world. It was undoubtedly a gig worth seeing.