Glad you loved the gig, but i'm afraid i didn't. We will all, i think, have an opinion based on where we were in the Venue and it sounds like you had the perfect spot for Matt and the sign etc and i'm envious of your dedication and enthusiasm. Big up from me on that.
I've done 15 gigs now, and am down for Lisbon soon, but this one must rank in my bottom 3 of the gigs attended (yes i know it's hard, having it compared to HAARP, S.B.E. and R.A.H. so i suppose its a little unfair of me.....however.....
Here are my issues
1) Uprising. Like it or loath it, the song is an anthem for muse lovers, so why start the base line, and then try and introduce the band over it as the song actually started..... from the back of the stadium, some started moshing, but others got a mixed message about the song being uprising (how many times have we heard an intro and expected it to go into a song we like, and the start of uprising 'misfired' and the crowd didn't seem to get into it much.
2) Sound levels and mix. My god, what a horlicks from about the 3-6 song in. I assume it was a simple mistake, but the bass was literally trouser shaking and overwhelming the rest of the music, with the vocals and even drums getting lost behind the almost painful bass distortion. This didn't get 'fixed' until later, as the base was reduced and the sound went low in general, causing the atmosphere to drop accordingly
3) Setlist. Ok, i know they have an album to push, but maybe they should not concentrate on this aspect so long after the album release as those who really want it will have it, and maybe need to start considering playing more of the older anthems (the mix songs) and get more albums sold from their back catalogue. I do not like the mix list set of songs as i heard that at the RAH in December but think that the slow bit does nothing for the energy levels, and Propaganda should be dropped for one of these, and Isolated System is a curious choice of slow music that doesn't add anything either.
4) Stage. Quote dramatic, but you cannot keep pushing the boundaries of stage presentation and graphics before it starts getting much the same. If i'm to be honest, i loved the HAARP stage design and Black holes tour one, and think the Drones stage was was actually very clever but failed in its split of the mosh crowd.
5) Venue. A great venue.... for football! Having seen Springsteen there previously, it isn't a venue for generating much gig atmosphere, where everyone can get involved. Good transport links in and out, and plentiful concessions and mobile drinks caddys. Time to lose the stadiums (that in this case still had swathes of empty tier seats (not lower tiers as we know they were for standing peeps too), and keep with arenas where you can control the lighting and not have to wait for the sun to go down and darkness to let rip with your expensive light displays. this can only increase atmosphere and in fact does.
6) Soldiers Poem. In a week where 2 days before the show the 75th anniversary was held for D-day , i think, bearing in mind that it wouldn't have strained Matts voice and been only 90 seconds long, been a perfect time to play this as a one off in remembrance for the guys during that time that enabled us to enjoy the freedom to enjoy Muse today, no matter what the quality of the gig.
I'd give it a 6 out of 10. I'm not fully really, its just that i've seen better from them many times before, but i'm pushed to give you a truly musical 'stand out moment' from last night.
In closing......Dump the slow songs that lose energy, bring in a couple from the mix session, don't talk over your own anthem, get the sound right (i should have been in the perfect place for prefect sound (middle rear of standing), but wasn't until later in the gig when it was fixed, and dont overblow the stage with stupid robots no one can see farther back than 100ft from the stage front, and 'dancers' that seem to be just filers, and those god awful peeps on cables coming down the screen. Not needed! Keep the dramatic big robot thing as that was very impressive.
Lets see if Lisbon is better than this. It needs to be!