MUSE - THE PASSAGE "BY REQUEST" // O2 SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON

MUSE UNLEASH RARELY-PLAYED SONGS FOR SOLD-OUT INTIMATE TINY CHARITY GIG

MUSE PERFORMING AT O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE ON BEHALF OF "THE PASSAGE" - 19/08/2017
PICTURE BY: HANZ-PETER VAN VELTHOVEN

★★★★★

Fans were absolutely ecstatic and energetic to hear rarirties which are hardly played live or never played at all in such a small venue.

The trio who are set to headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals next weekend played a last minute special show for 2,000 lucky fans at London's O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. The gig was billed as "By Request" show, which gave ticket-holders the chance to vote for their top 10 favourite Muse tracks to be included on the setlist. As a result, the performance included many of their earlier songs that band haven't played live for many years.

Over the last decade, Muse shows have featured Orwellian LED pyramids, UFOs, satellite dishes, drones, acrobats suspended from illuminated white balloons and a 16-foot robot named Charles (who would moonwalk and spew out CO2). They have become a stadium rock band par excellence, dazzling audiences the world over with their archly dystopian vision and technological oddities.

At Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a benefit show to raise money for The Passage, they let ticket holders curate the set; out went everything from 2009’s The Resistance onwards and with it the extravagant props. The result was a return to the Devon trio’s musical and live roots, and a startling reminder of how spiky, raw and emotive they can be.

First up came Assassin, whose heavy, stabbing riff set the tone for the night; the standing section split into waves of pogoing. The feeling of euphoric frenzy was only heightened by the bitterly venomous Dead Star and the 1999-released Muscle Museum, which was met with such an overwhelming reaction that frontman Matt Bellamy stepped away from his mic to let the fans sing the opening verse. And the rarities kept on coming: four b-sides/bonus tracks made it onto the 18-song setlist; one of these, Easily, had never been played live before and another, Futurism, kicked off the final encore. Unquestionably this was a show for hardcore fans. Yet those seeing them for the first time, and hankering to hear the hits, were suitably catered for too, with Plug in BabyNew BornHysteria and the communal, rabble-rousing Knight of Cydonia all aired.

WATCH ENTIRE CONCERT BELOW:

Muse’s recent output has combined spacey, operatic music with reflexively political lyrics – their latest single Dig Down exemplifies this – and the songs chosen for the show tonight feature no fewer solos and no less falsetto, but they are starker. Brooding on unrequited love or past relationships, they are catapults to the heart, rather than the head. Looking round the venue, one could easily see how much they meant, and continue to mean, to scores of the band’s fans. By the end of the night, strangers everywhere had their arms around each other’s shoulders. Muse have become a quintessential stadium rock act, but they can be as compelling in a venue of this size.

MUSE PERFORMING AT O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE ON BEHALF OF "THE PASSAGE" - 19/08/2017
PICTURE BY: HANZ-PETER VAN VELTHOVEN

SETLIST:

Assassin. 
Dead Star. 
Muscle Museum. 
Easily. (Live Debut)
Glorious. 
Butterflies and Hurricanes. 
Citizen Erased. 
Munich Jam.
Showbiz. 
Fury. 
Interlude. 
Hysteria. 
New Born. 
Micro Cuts (end solo). 
Agitated (solo). 
Yes Please. 
Reapers (solo). 
Sing For Absolution. 
Plug In Baby. 
Futurism. 
Knights of Cydonia.

MUSE'S UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

23 AUGUST: VITAL FESTIVAL 2017 - BELFAST, UK
25 AUGUST: LEEDS FESTIVAL 2017 - LEEDS, UK
27 AUGUST: READING FESTIVAL 2017 - READING, UK
15 SEPTEMBER: SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE - SAN FRANCISCO, USA

16 SEPTEMBER: KAABOO DEL MAR - SAN DIEGO, USA
18 SEPTEMBER:
 RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE - COLORADO, USA
20 SEPTEMBER: USANA AMPHITHEATRE - SALT LAKE CITY, USA
23 SEPTEMBER: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL FESTIVAL 2017 - LAS VEGAS, USA
13 NOVEMBER: YOKOHAMA ARENA - YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
14 NOVEMBER: YOKOHAMA ARENA - YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

16 DECEMBER: QUDOS BANK ARENA - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
18 DECEMBER:
 ROD LAVER ARENA - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

REVIEW BY: THE MODERN RECORD

The Modern Record