3 months ago a friend and co-worker asked me if I wanted to go to Muse’s concert in March. I hesitantly agreed and many months past, a set of tickets sold, a new set bought, time booked off work. Then suddenly, March 8th, Air Canada Center, concert day.
The reason I was hesitant originally was due to the ill-conceived notion that because I wasn’t a huge fan like those whom I was going with were, I would end up a 5th wheel and excluded from conversations due to a very limited knowledge of the band. Thankfully this was far from the case, and the concert was amazing. This is the 3rd “amazing” concert I’ve been to and has again re-calibrated how I view concerts.
Blink-182 was an amazing concert because I had no basis for comparison. That’s not to say it was a bad concert, but looking back, it had a lot of moments that don’t live up to the concerts that followed. Some upsides to blinks concert was I had a seat, which I never used, but that meant I wasn’t being bumped into constantly and the people in front of me were lower thus my short stature wasn’t impeded.
U2 was an amazing concert because well, it was an amazing concert. The whole event was spectacular, I had great floor tickets and no maybe one person in front of me the majority of the time. In hindsight now there was a decent amount of space to breathe and move, but which I just mean that I could do those things. The U2 concert also had a great opening act with Snow Patrol, contrasting to blink-182 who had Fall Out Boy, Illscarlet and Chester French, Snow Patrol was simply just on a level above them.
This brings us to Muse and their supporting act, the Silversun Pickups. This concert differed from the above for me because it was really a combination of the two. Blink-182 I had a seat and could see the front row crowd and how rowdy they were, U2 I had the front row seat but it was an older crowd that wasn’t very rowdy at all. Putting the two together, I was in the thick of it all, I was front row center and back by 2-4 people, great spot to be for the Silversun Pickups, terrible spot to be for Muse but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The Silversun Pickups came out to much cheer from the crowd, possibly the best received opening act I’ve seen so far. Not knowing the band very well at all, only having really heard one song of theirs from Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour I wasn’t really sure what to expect. All I knew was I didn’t like “playing” Lazy Eye on Rock Band 2/Guitar Hero World Tour. Silversun Pickups opened with what I believe was “Growing Old is Getting Old” and did a fantastic job at immediately gaining my full attention and interest in their music. The crowd surrounding me were also into it, some singing (poorly lol) along with the songs. Thinking this is how the concert was going to go, comparing it to my U2 experience I was ecstatic with my position and enjoyed every minute of it, until Muse came out.
Muse came out and the crowd went wild, if I may use the term, ape shit, they went ape shit wild and all tried to storm the stage. Pushing everyone into a space that was far too small for their body types, I was stuck sideways between and amongst many men with the whole crowd gyrating to the music and covered in their sweat. It was an experience I tell you, and quite possibly the most homosexual exeperience I’ve ever been a part of. Men were gyrating all around me, it was as if I was thrown into the biggest gay orgy ever. The crowd at the front would push back at the crowd behind, and the crowd behind would push back at the crowd in front, and I was caught in the middle with all of my 110 lbs of body weight pushing for air. Add to this that the past few days prior to the concert my back was sore, I really wasn’t in a situation I wanted to be in at all.
Eventually I managed to push myself back a few rows and escape from the death that seemed to await me up front. However this put me smack dab right in the middle of a moshpit, getting pushed left and right, back and forth again I wasn’t in a situation I wanted at all. So I worked myself over to the right of the stage away from the moshpit but still 8-10 people away from the very front. It was here I stayed for the majority of the concert, and it is also here that my left arm became trapped between the cutest girls breasts as she pressed forward because of the crowd behind her. Her chin was nearly on my shoulder and she kept speaking into my ear, though obviously at her friend and not me. I must emphasize though, I was not taking advantage of the situation, she forced herself upon my arm, I just didn’t mind at all that she’d done so.
Despite the 2 paragraphs above and all the trouble that befell me during the concert, it was all worth it, the back pain I feel right now and the stiff limbs are all worth the effort. Muse performed amazingly, far better than the CDs I’d been listening to in the 3 months prior to the concert. I’d started to get a bit apathetic towards Muse, they still had songs I liked but I lacked the enthusiasm of my friends. The concert washed all of that apathy away, immediately.
Muse rose up on 3 pillars out of the stage floor hidden behind curtains and animations, opening with an amazing rendition of “Uprising” off their 2009 album “The Resistance” as the curtains fell revealing the 3 band members. Matthew Bellamy on the left with a very sparkly silver jacket, guitar and blue sunglasses, Dominic Howard center stage, and Christopher Wolstenholme on the right.
Muse would use these pillars on and off throughout their performance, rising and falling between songs. Part of me wishes they did their entire concert from the pillars as it would have been easier to see at times, but it was used to good effect and created a nice dynamic throughout the concert. I could easily see issue using them for the whole concert though, they couldn’t move very much and that is rather boring. Later in the concert during “Feeling Good” Matthew played a piano up on his pillar along with good use of a megaphone. On the side of this Piano was the brand “Kawai”, I desperately tried to get a picture of it snickering to myself that I’d add another ‘i’ but the camera simply just wouldn’t focus.
I wont go into detail about each and every song that was played as that would take longer to read than to just listen to each track played at the concert. So here are the setlists, they’re not the definitive setlist, but they’re what I could find via some simple Google searches. Unfortunately as has so far always been the case for me, I was not able to find a setlist for the Silversun Pickups (why does Toronto suck with setlists for opening acts?), so I was forced to piece their list together from 2 past concerts where they opened for Muse. If anyone comes across anything that should be corrected, by all means, I want to know. I like having playlists on my iPod of tracks in concert order.
- Growing Old is Getting Old (Swood)
- Well Through Out Twinkles (Carnavas)
- There’s no Secrets This Year (Swoon)
- The Royal We (Swoon)
- Future Foe Scenarios (Carnavas)
- Substitution (Swoon)
- Panic Switch (Swoon)
- Lazy Eye (Carnavas)
- Uprising (The Resistance)
- Resistance (The Resistance)
- New Born (Origin of Symmetry)
- Map of the Promlematique (Black Holes and Revelations)
- Supermassive Black Hole (Black Holes and Revelations)
- Guiding Light (The Resistance)
- Interlude (Absolution)
- Hysteria (Absolution)
- Nishe (Unintended CD2)
- United States of Eurasia / Collateral Damage (The Resistance)
- Feeling Good (Origin of Symmetry)
- Helsinki Jam (No Album)
- Undisclosed Desires (The Resistance)
- Starlight (Black Holes and Revlations)
- Plug in Baby (Original of Symmetry)
- Time is Running Out (Absolution)
- YYZ (snippet) (Rush Cover)
- Unnatural Selection (The Resistance)
- Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: Overture The Resistance
- Stockholm Syndrome The Resistance
- Knights of Cydonia Black Holes and Revelations
I think my only wish for the concert would have been if Muse played for another hour. That’s it really, they really were great live and I miss listening to their live set, the CDs just don’t live up to it.
PS: I apologize for the very poor quality pictures. The camera I was using was a borrowed FujiFilm Finepix S1000 and threw artifacts all over the pictures, had poor low light performance and well the crowd was rowdy and near impossible to take pictures in (biggest factor).