posted on August 14, 2008 03:49
MUSE (live in Marlay Park, Dublin)
Review Snapshot: Sometimes you find yourself so in awe of a band that there is nothing you can do except stand back, close your eyes and let a performance permeate every essence of your being.
The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10
It wasn't looking good for MUSE at Marlay Park. Monsoon like conditions over the past week would surely render conditions unsuitable for anything other than pigs and ducks. Not so. The first surprise of the evening was that parking was a breeze, as was gaining access to the arena. The biggest surprise of all though was the condition of the arena. Where were the anticipated mud baths? No where to be seen, in fact you'd have hardly known it had rained non-stop for the past two weeks.
First up on stage were Glasvegas, the Glasgow four piece who count Michael Stipe amongst their celebrity fans. If The Smiths were Scottish and liked dressing as the biker from The Village People, then Glasvegas would have lost their niche. A band still finding their feet on the big stage, they just don't have the songs to keep a crowd containing everyone from drunken leaving cert students to 'accountants on tour' (Deloitte and Touche take a bow) entertained. In the end, Glasvegas were a bit like the wasp that flew near my drink, it wasn't doing any harm, but I just wanted it to go away.
Kasabian were next up and launched straight into Empire the title track from their second album. In fairness to Tom Meighan he tried his best to warm an ever increasing crowd up but I'm not sure if claiming to be Jesus is the way to go after just two albums. Kasabian did exactly what I expected in playing some above standard indie rock, namely L.S.F and Shoot the Runner, and then playing the rest of their songs. Of more interest than any of their music though is that they seem to have commandeered Roger Daltrey to play drums and Carlos Puyol on guitar! Check it out for yourself here. Kasabian should know by now though that this is post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, we don't sing Ole, Ole, Ole any more!
Despite me labelling them a singles band on more than one occasion I was quite excited about seeing MUSE live for the first time. I'd heard reports of their live performances before but had no idea of the visual and audio bombardment that lay in store. Opening with Map of the Problematique, Supermassive Blackhole and Dead Star, Bellamy and Co. had the audience firmly in their grip from the start. Accompanied by lasers, satellite dishes and some of the best on stage camera work I've ever seen, each song becomes an almost cinematic experience in the live arena.
Definite highlights for me were Invincible and the sing-along version of Time is Running Out, though an honourable mention must go to Feeling Good as I've never heard so many people attempt to sing falsetto before. Lets just say there were lots of canines covering their ears last night in the Marlay Park area! Any band that want to have two encores better have some good songs to go with it and in Starlight, Plug in Baby (encore one) and Knights of Cydonia (encore two), MUSE certainly have more than enough tools with which to work a crowd.
And with that the balloons, the lasers, the smoke machines were all gone and we encountered the only problem of the evening. When it takes you longer to walk a kilometre to your car than it does to drive 20 kilometres home you know you have a problem. It's a problem MCD could sort by opening more exits but is a minor complaint given how enjoyable this gig was. Gig of the year by a long way.