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Live Review: Muse, Sydney

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Live Review: Muse, Sydney

Friday December 13                                                                                                          Photo Credit: Ashley Mar
Allphones Arena, Sydney, NSW

Devon genre-blenders Muse usually fill openair basins three times the size of Sydney’s Allphones Arena; six albums in and the trio are now just as lauded for the LED imagery, lasers and state of the art histrionics featured in their live show than the rock operatics that have landed multiple synch deals and topped international charts.

Kicking off proceedings on Friday night with bloody king hit Supremacy, an ever-changing pyramid assembled from LED screens rose to uncover the trio, frontman Matt Bellamy’s experimental vocals luring the pit forward, each crowd member courteous and aware of one another. This was not a show for crowd surfing or a three-tiered shoulder ride – a Muse experience is loud, combustible, progressive and not suitable to those suffering from epilepsy.

Through tracks like Knights of Cydonia, Follow Me, the verbatim sing-along Time Is Running Out and Madness – where Bellamy’s sunglasses mirrored the pyramid’s lyric video – the classically trained frontman indulged in fist-pumps, buckled poses on the catwalk and ragdoll throw-downs, what could have been viewed as pastiche by Muse naysayers was simply the trio’s renowned and celebrated dramatics coming to life.

Other highlights include Chris Wolstenholme’s harmonica solo, the eternal cloning of Wolstenholme and drummer Dom Howard from inside the grounded LED screens and the encore when Bellamy, a man who traded between track banter for actual tracks, yelled “Santa Claus in coming, come on!” during Black Holes and Revelations.

Muse are constantly pushing musical and visual boundaries, this Australian stint will cement them further as an innovative act destined for historical status.

- Poppy Reid