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Kansas City Star-Kanrocksas review


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Day 2 of the Kanrocksas Music Festival was different than Day 1 in a few ways: It was hotter; fewer people attended; and there were lasers, exploding balloons and handbells.


Though the lineup, arguably, was better on Saturday, there was no eminent headliner, no one like Eminem to draw 30,000 plus. Saturday’s crowd looked more than one-third smaller. So if the 30,000 to 35,000 figure for Friday is accurate, about 20,000 to 24,000 showed up Saturday. They got what everyone got Friday night: great sound; a great festival layout; and lots of good music. Here’s a breakdown on Saturday’s performances. (Crowd figures are rough estimates.)


Muse: If you can proclaim the success of a band by how extravagantly it executes its mission, then Muse is one of the more successful bands in rock. Unabashedly and unrepentantly melodramatic and garish, the trio from Devon, England, delivers its sound and songs the way Costco sells groceries: in bulk and volume. Subtlety is not within its repertoire; nor is restraint. Any moments of quiescence are brief and only set up the impending explosions of percussion, guitar riffs and bombastic vocals.


Muse is like Queen-times-Oasis with some prog rock and heavy electronic accents thrown in. Occasionally, chief vocalist Matthew Bellamy sits at the grand piano and begins a ballad, evoking Radiohead in its lullaby moments, but that typically ends abruptly with another detonation and eruption into yet another sustained wall of sound and sights.


Saturday Muse headlined Day 2 of Kanrocksas, more than nine months after it canceled a Nov. 2 show at the Sprint Center. Saturday’s show drew close to 20,000 fans. They were treated to a visual and aural feast.


Muse opened with “Uprising,” the lead track on its latest album that rides a call-to-arms riff reminiscent of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll, Part 2.” Except “Uprising” has lyrics that honor its title and sound like a parody of a college fight song: “They will not force us / They will stop degrading us / They will not control us / We will be victorious.”


It’s hard to imagine any of this being done without tongue in cheek or at least a sense of irony. Either way, it’s hard not to submit to its extravagance and the impressive execution. Muse is a trio that sounded like a small army, even in the expanse of the Speedway.


The set lasted a hair under 90 minutes and included a few instrumentals and one of its better-known songs, “Starlight,” which veers into the Coldplay/Travis realm. Other highlights: “Super-Massive Black Hole,” a funky dance-rock number that recalls the Dandy Warhols in their “Monkey House” phase; “Resistance,” another beefy, rollicking but melodic rock ballad teeming with riffs and harmonies; and “Stockholm Syndrome,” an unruly fusion of prog-rock, metal and Brit pop.


The production was stellar all night, both the sound and the visuals. There were plenty of lasers. And during the encore, they out-ballooned the Flaming Lips, releasing eye-ball balloons that ejaculated confetti when they exploded.


It all fit in with this band’s mission: Less is never more; and more is never enough.


Muse set list: Uprising; Map of the Problematique; Supermassive Black Hole; Hysteria; Citizen Erased; Nishe; United States of Eurasia; Helsinki Jam; Undisclosed Desires; Resistance; Time is Running Out; Starlight; Stockholm Syndrome. Encore: Plug In Baby; Knights of Cydonia.

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so they play Citizen Erased at a new festival with only 20,000 in attendance but couldn't play CE at LA Rising with 60,000 in attendance? I will never see CE live in my life :(


Hahaha I know how you feel, I stood outside the venue in Indianapolis and listened to them soundcheck CE as well as GL and Helsinki Jam... At the show they didn't play CE but they played GL :rolleyes: Oh muse....you're so hard to figure out :LOL:

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I don't understand either, CE would fit the theme for LA rising. I was also hoping for ruled by secrecy (fitting the theme) but at least we got MOTP. Lollapalooza got CE, I wanted to go this festival instead of Outside Lands but work prohibited me to!!!! :mad: One of my employees is a full-on Muser after LA rising I had been telling him for months about them and he finally got it.

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