Indeed, here we go with an (probably) obligatory "Holy crap I've seen Muse for the first time" bloggery, because YES they are that ridicufreakaliciously fantastic. Music review time!
The opening act were Silversun Pickups. I'd heard one of their songs before, and it was listenable (even likeable- rareish for a pop band whose male singer sounds like a woman with pop-angst for a voice).My conclusions are thus for the Pickups: their synth player knows what he's doing about half the time-- the half that he doesn't he is using is synth to sound-warp your eardrums with searing, high-frequency PAIN-- searing, high-frequency, half-step flat pain (but to his credit he owns a nice hat); their drummer is very good indeed, as is their bassist (who is a lady GIANT); and their lead singer/guitar player is a leprechaun who is a pretty good guitar player with a strange fondness for the effects pedal.
...And then there were three. And by that I mean Muse happened. They did not "play next," "start playing," or "come on stage" or whatever. I said Muse "happened" and that is exactly what I mean.
It should be mentioned first that the stage setup was a stage with three giant fabric columns on it- the Ministries of Love, Peace and Truth (if you don't understand that reference, please go read 1984). We figured Muse were hiding in these columns (and they were), but we didn't expect the fabric to glow and have the electric white silhouettes of people walking up and down stairs, and really didn't expect the fabric to drop to the ground at the first chord of "Uprising", revealing Muse on columns glowing with lights and imagery and under columns of the same. The only appropriate response was to make a lot of noise.
The next two hours consisted of some of the most creative, interesting, thoughtful and exhilarating prog rock on the planet (or, if you prefer the vernacular, "Muse rocked us like a hurricane, sir"). This involved a grand piano that lit up when Bellamy felt like it should light up, a bass/drum solo of Rush excellence, a megaphone, Bellamy skidding across the floor like an excited twelve-year-old, lasers, intermittent jam sessions, a very happy and weird Dominic wailing away on drums, and giant floating eyeballs. Eyeballs? Yes, giant floating eyeballs. With red confetti in them. I took pictures:
Oh yeah, I found a shot of the stage too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MuseNIA.JPG.
Also, I want to be one of their sound people. Why? Because I like doing sound engineering-like things, and their setup looked like the controls of a spaceship. If there's a cooler assistant's job than that, somebody tell me.
"They rocked us like a hurricane, sir!"