I work in the more mainstream edges of the music industry. My boss makes me to go to shit gigs, all the time. Here I review them anonymously.
I would definitely be fired otherwise.
First up, Muse.
Different coloured Converse? Check. Black shirt, red tie and fedora? Check. A veined paranoia of the government? Double check. Right, let’s go see Muse.
It was London’s O2 Arena where I would be invited to watch a band that was once described by Team Rock as ‘a band’. It was the only space large enough to house 120-minutes worth of guitar licks blasted mercilessly into the crowd from the groin of Matt Bellamy, something which I assumed was a euphemism for drone strikes or the Iraq War or Guantanamo or some other sort of shite. I didn’t manage to make it in time to see them arrive to the stage, trapped somewhere between a Frankie & Benny’s, a Byron and a bag search trying to find the entrance, but I imagine each member was fired on to the stage from a F-16 fighter jet flown by a roadie wearing a mask of Tony Blair.
Muse look like a band who watched Blade as a kid and based their entire lives around that one experience. Their perfect woman is Trinity from The Matrix. They dress like what I imagine Christmas Day looks like at Scooter’s house. If you cut them they bleed Monster energy drink. They still love Dubstep. They hang out in front of their local town hall wearing Slipknot hoodies listening to Pendulum from their phones. Three middle-aged men who draw Manga cartoons. A band who if they weren’t famous would be assistant managers at branches of Subway in Rotherham, Wrexham and Dudley respectively. I couldn’t tell you what songs were played or how many didn’t involve a 7-minute guitar solo (that’s a lie, I can. It was zero) but what I can tell you is that it felt like ‘The Life and Times of a White Guy with Dreadlocks: The Musical’.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a Muse show? Whatever it is yep, you’re right on the money. A revolving stage you say? Had it. Images of army generals with red cross hairs covering their faces like some new Snapchat filter designed by Edward Snowden? Pfft of course. The staff at Cyberdog (Camden branch) having their belated Christmas Party? Probably somewhere.
But in all seriousness though Muse are for people whose political beliefs were formed by Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’. They’re for people who cite vaping as a sport. They’re for people who still fall out with their friends for not including them in their MySpace Top 8. They have ‘jet fuel can’t melt steel beams’ tattooed down their forearm. They wear black vests with tribal designs on them. If you were to ask Matt Bellamy who he hated most in this world it would either be George W. Bush or his Mum for grounding him after she caught him kissing a poster of Robocop. You get the picture.
I took my leave when two giant robotic hands started playing the band members like puppets. That was enough Muse for one day. That was enough Muse for any one man to bear.