GIG: The 2nd Law
BANDS: Muse, Dizzee Rascal, Bastille
VENUE: Emirates Stadium, London
DATE: May 25th 2013
I finally have a gig to review! This is my first live review of 2013 and what a night to write up! I bought tickets to this gig as a treat to Dan and myself and I haven’t been to a gig in a long time, which I know is absolutely appalling as a music blogger. Muse have always been widely regarded as amazing showmen and due to that, I was expecting something pretty memorable and completely spellbinding.
After getting over the beauty and pure spectacle of Arsenal football team’s home ground, we found a standing spot to the left of the stage and waited for things to start. Bastille took to the stage and played the best hits from their debut album Bad Blood, including Icarus, Flaws and The Weight Of Living. Unfortunately, the majority of the crowd didn’t react that much until Pompeii began and they received the applause and praise that they deserved. In fact, Bastille were the perfect support for Muse and I was still humming their songs long after the gig had finished. No doubt that after a few more singles, another awesome album, they’ll be selling out arenas too.
Dizzee Rascal seemed a bit of a random fixture on the bill to me and there were indeed a few crowd members who had no interest in him at all. However, for the most part he did really get the party started and was joined on stage by fellow grime artist Scope and singer Daniel Pearce to help perform Bassline Junkie, Dance Wiv Me, Holiday and of course, Bonkers. Dizzee did treat us to quite a few gems from his upcoming album Something Really Bad, which unfortunately didn’t go down too well with the crowd, who were desperate to hear his classics. He certainly made me smile with his foul mouth and cheeky grins though, so I did enjoy his performance.
The anticipation for Muse was so strong and everyone, despite the sore feet, was just willing the band they love to appear. When they did, the room was deafening. We were thrown into a sci-fi world of numbers, codes and technology from which first came their The 2nd Law opener Supremacy. Clad in dashing red trousers, Matt squealed his way through the track before beginning the next and stopping, swore as if he’d got the wrong song and restarted with Supermassive Black Hole.
Weirdness and proof of why a Muse gig is so amazing arrived around the time Panic Station began. Animations of the world leaders including Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Putin and Jinping bust out their best moves to the ultra funky, Queen-esque song, even causing Matt to smile when he caught sight of the screen behind him. The stage gimmicks kept happening, when “Muros” or fake money were shot out into the crowd on Animals.
As expected, the moshers really took it to town on the guitar heavy Knights Of Cydonia and began running frantically in circles as the band completely killed the song. Even Matt asked “Are you guys starting a fight club down there?” once the song was over. After the mayhem of the moshpit, Muse really needed to tone it down a little and what better way to do that than to get out the piano and have Matt slowly croon the beautiful United States Of Eurasia. His voice lilted out over the crowd and it really was such a relaxing listen.
The band then continued with the unexpected appearance of Dead Star, which was widely appreciated and their infamous cover of Feeling Good followed not long afterwards. Again, the stage antics were more than a little questionable on the latter song, when a blonde woman dressed in a business suit proceeded to drink “petrol” from a pump. All very bizarre and designed to shock and amaze.
A trio of The 2nd Law songs ensued beginning with Follow Me, then Liquid State and finally Madness -the latter of which completely mesmerized me. Matt donned a pair of glasses which projected the lyrics of Madness on the lenses while he sang. It was an awesome, chilled performance that completely silenced the crowd and we could just simply savour every soulful note. It was the calm before the storm of Time Is Running Out, which got everyone shouting the lyrics and jumping up and down before the intro to their cover of House Of The Rising Sun, linking to an animated roulette wheel which swayed between Stockholm Syndrome and New Born, before landing on the latter.
The band then reverted to the smaller stage at the other end of the aisle and during Blackout, a giant inflatable light bulb moved above the crowd before a ballerina came tumbling out of the bottom, spraying more Muros everywhere. She cartwheeled and floated elegantly above the awestruck spectators as Matt finished the song and drifted into Guiding Light. The stage tricks didn’t end there, when Charles the robot arrived on stage and remained throughout the glitchy Unsustainable, which also included bright lights and technical codes running behind.
When the unmistakeable riff of Plug In Baby rang out, the entire crowd cheered and the stage came alive with pyrotechnics and explosions. Their Olympic anthem Survival followed suit with animated suited men chanting and marching behind on the screen, helping create the militant vibe of the song that has become synonymous with Britain’s triumphs of last summer. Continuing the military theme with Uprising, which saw Matt don a red jacket and see himself multiplied twelve-fold on the screens. Naturally, the room was once again jumping and screaming the lyrics back to him creating such an atmosphere of camaraderie. Ending on Starlight, which is arguably one of their most commercially popular tracks was a great choice and left us with an awesome lasting impression of them.
I definitely went home thinking I’d seen a great show as well as had a good time listening to the music. I love how so much thought is put into the actual show as a whole and it’s not just a simple concert of their songs. Naturally, the band were flawless and completely wowed everyone. They are definitely a band that everyone should see at least once.