Muse - Staples Center - 1/23/13 (With Photos)
9:03pm: Token close up of the keyboard player.
9:07pm: Bellamy sits at a flashy grand piano, which just rose out of the floor, obviously, and plays the ballad "Explorers." Just me or does this sounds have hints of "Don't Stop Me Now." Anybody?
9:16pm: Mega-jam "Time is Running Out" inspires the loudest singalong of the evening as Bellamy races back and forth across the stage and Wolstenholme creates the song's signature ominous bass fuzz. These guys don't really improvise or play material all that differently from the way it sounds on the albums, but they rock so hard.
9:20pm: Wolstenholme comes front and center to do the vocals on "Liquid State." His voice is the Noel Gallagher to Bellamy's Liam.
9:30pm: "This song is for my love," Bellamy announces as the opening skip hop beat of recent radio hit "Madness" begins. He is presumably talking about his fiancé and baby mama Kate Hudson. This song is sweet and cool and why I am I crying right now?
9:35pm: "Follow Me" is full on astral prog rock and someone should do a remake of the Neverending Story so this jam can be the theme song.
9:38pm:Bellamy and his deliberately messy haircut go out into the crowd and shake hands with excited people who shove cell phones in his face.
9:40pm: A massive roulette wheel is projected on the LED panels and a ball drops, bouncing between "Stockholm Syndrome" and "New Born." It lands on "Stockholm Syndrome," so they play that.
9:45pm: For some reason drummer Dominic Howard is wearing a tight red body suit. He rages on that drum set, which sometimes spins. Baller.
9:50pm: The show closes with "Uprising," after which thousands of people throughout the vastness of Staples turn on their cellphone flashlights. It looks like starlight.
9:52pm: So they comes back out and plays that. "Staples Center!" Bellamy yells, "It's happening!"
9:58pm: The band closes with "Survival" a theatrical showpiece with a relentless guitar rise that sounds, sorry to hard on this, more Queen than Queen. This is the pinnacle of massive, theatrical modern, large-scale rock music.
10:00pm: "We'll see you next time guys!" says Howard, making an exit from the stage and still wearing that tight, tight body suit. "Like, tomorrow!" Muse plays the Staples Center tonight and on Saturday, January 26.
Overhead in the Crowd: "That was like, whoa, like, I don't even have words for that. That was like...emotional."
Personal Bias: I bought Absolution at a Virgin Megastore in 2003.
Random Notebook Dump: Is there anything better than the moment when someone on a jumbotron realizes that they're on a jumbotron?
Set list below