Muse Rocks the Night Away
I had been looking forward to the Muse 2nd Law tour coming to Oakland on January 28th for months. I had intentionally stayed away from all videos of Muse’s 2nd Law tour (for their new album 2nd Law) so that everything I saw would be completely new and a surprise. However, I did hear something about a pyramid being in the show on the radio one day, which, try as I might, I couldn’t forget.
All I knew was that Muse was known for putting on an amazing show and that I loved their music. Oh, and the pyramid….
Shortly after taking our seats, the opening band, Band of Skulls, started playing. To be completely honest, I wasn’t a fan of their set. Maybe it was because I wasn’t familiar with any of their music, that their look confused me, or that they were having technical issues throughout their set. However, the Band of Skulls did their job of a warm up band: they made me want to see Muse even more.
The stage was rearranged and all of Muse’s equipment was set up. But no pyramid.
The set started with “Unsustainable,” during which the members of the band slowly entered the stage. The band played a few songs, accompanied by amazing videos, lights, and lasers, which made their sound even better because the entire show stimulated all of the senses.
Then, all of a sudden, it appeared.
The inverted, screen-plated pyramid descended from the ceiling with video clips and live video from the show playing on it. Oh, and the layers of the pyramid moved. Bonus.
The pyramid significantly enhanced the performance on two occasions. First, during the song “Animals” multiple faces of power hungry business men (as referred to in the song), slowly fall apart, which reminded me slightly of their video for “Muscle Museum“. Second, when the pyramid layers rearranged themselves into the standard pryamid shape (instead of inverted) and covered the band, the lights dimmed, and after a short period of silence, the song “Isolated System” played alongside its video.
The band members put on an amazing show with incredible energy. Matt Bellamy (guitar) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass) would often play around each other, or run up and stand on the platform with drummer Dominic Howard. Bellamy was constantly moving around the stage’s two layers and the short catwalk, and at one point, left the stage to go onto the same level as the crowd and give high fives and handshakes. His piano was amazing, after appearing out of thin air (I later realized that it went below the stage and was lifted up when it was needed). Bellamy showed off its transparent top, which was embedded with lights that corresponded to different notes. Wolstenholme also embarked upon the catwalk for the song “Liquid State“, which is one of the two songs he sings on the album. And, although he was confined to his drum set, Howard provided his own entertainment during “Uprising” in the form of a video while he was still under the pyramid, in which he fought off his enemies with drum sticks and the occasional kick or punch. The video was rather comedic, a quality that was enhanced by his red and black one-piece. When the pyramid finally lifted, Howard was actually wearing the outfit depicted in the clip, much to my amusement.
After a couple hours of playing, the band said their thanks to the crowd and left the stage. Immediately the arena was filled with shouts and cheers for an encore, and the light from lighters and cell phones being waved in the air. The crowds pleads were answered and the band played a couple more songs before truly departing, but not before picks and drum sticks were thrown into the crowd.
I’d have to say that the whole entire night was amazing. The concert was perfect, and met my expectations. It was a hectic night, sure, with sensory-overload and all, but it was most definitely worth it.