Striding onto stage at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy welcomed the crowd to “an evening of deep cuts”, and deep cuts they certainly were. Not a single song after released after 2006 made an appearance this evening with some at long last receiving their live debuts.
This kind of gig doesn’t happen often for any band, let alone a band of Muse’s stature. The set list was voted on by the ticket holders for charity and it’s no surprise to see the majority of the hits fail to make the cut. Opening with ‘Assassin’, the room is immediately whipped into frenzy that lasts the entire show with its hard hitting punch serving only as a cleanser for what was to come. Wasting no time, the Teignmouth trio rip into an impassioned ‘Dead Star’ with every single word screamed back to them followed by Bellamy quipping “This is the second oldest song we’re playing tonight” before launching into early single ‘Muscle Museum’ with its late 90s wail electrifying Shepherd’s Bush.
2006 b-side ‘Easily’ receives its live debut tonight with Bellamy revealing that the band had never played it together before rehearsals for this gig with the guitars and vocals recorded separately from the drums and bass, and it’s immediately followed up by ‘Glorious’ for the first time since 2007, with both sounding absolutely incredible. Bellamy disappears off stage after ‘Citizen Erased’ to give bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard their moment with their now traditional drum and bass jam a welcome breather for the voices in the crowd.
Debut album title track ‘Showbiz’ is welcomed for the first time in 11 years with a roar of appreciation from the crowd, whilst ‘New Born’ makes its first appearance in two years followed by a 10 minute long riff jam including ‘Yes Please’, and snippets of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Freedom’. Returning to stage for the first encore, Bellamy states he was surprised that the following song made the fans’ top 10 but even with Bellamy messing up the second verse ‘Sing For Absolution’ is an emotional moment for many. Finishing with the traditional ‘Knights of Cydonia’, Muse reaffirm they are one of the best live bands in the world with a gig that will undoubtedly go down as one of their best. Despite the relatively small stage of Shepherd’s Bush Empire’, the band show that those attending their headline sets at Reading and Leeds festivals will get a band still very much at the top of their game.
Butterflies & Hurricanes
Sing for Absolution
Plug In Baby
Knights of Cydonia