Muse – HAARP (DVD)
Within a few moments of the new live DVD “Haarp” by Muse, I was reminded of why they should have won the best live act at the Brit Awards this last year (I believe Take That won…whatever). Of the many, many shows I was able to attend last year, Muse at Red Rocks last summer was by far at the number one spot.
The big stadium shows from the ‘70s and ‘80s became legendary, but since then, the essence of a true rock ‘n’ roll “show” had lost is luster. Here, in the intimate confines of Wembley Stadium in June of 2007, Muse takes the old show rule book and blows it to smithereens.
Starting off with colorization tricks, lead singer/guitarist/pianist Matthew Bellamy’s red hot suit, drummer Dominic Howard’s neon green pants, and the banana yellow of the security crew bursts above the sepia toned crowd and surroundings. Then the band breaks into “Knights of Candonia” and the game is on.
The three, including bassist Chris Wolstenholme, fill up the immense stage with ease. Granted, for this gig, they also had Morgan Nicholls and Dan Newell on keys and electronics, but at Red Rocks it was the main trio. While the special affects, like the huge LED lyrics splashing on the backscreen, commanding the audience to participate, or the smoke and the explosions that send all into a frenzy, “Haarp” showcases the talent of these accomplished musicians.
Bellamy is the modern day classic pianist, bringing moments of elegance to the massive mob of thousands, complete with geysers of fire exploding on stage and while Spirograph patterns dance. On “Soldiers Poem” aerobatic, angel-like performers ala Cirque du Soleil twirl in huge blue ballons above the audience, and their saucy, jazzy cover of “Feeling Good,” epitomized the mood of every person in Wembley.
It’s been quite a long time since I was getting to huge concerts 10 or 15 hours before the show to make it to the front of the stage. Not only do I avoid stadium shows like the plague, but I don’t have the patience or free time like I used to. After watching “Haarp” I would actually be willing to make an acceptation this one time.
If you missed Muse in the past, “Haarp” is almost bittersweet, because as you watch this performance you’ll become aware of what it was that you missed: an amazing rock and roll event. For those of you that were there or have experienced Muse in the past, this is a way to relive that glory.