Riveon Posted June 27, 2010 Share Posted June 27, 2010 Tonight Muse ask the big question: 'Who needs U2 when you've got light shows, steam flumes and the Edge guesting on guitar?' 4 stars Who: Muse. Where and when: Pyramid stage, 10.20pm Saturday Dress code: Red jeans and T-shirt for Matt Bellamy, white suit and pipe for bassist Chris Wolstenholme. What happened: The chances of anything coming from Teignmouth – or at least anything of this grandeur and magnitude – were a million to one, they said. But still, they come: though Muse fail to arrive in the massive inflatable UFO they've been promising to sneak past every festival health and safety official since V2008, they still prove themselves a formidable celestial invasion. Expectations are understandably high: Muse have won every best live band award from here to Timbuktu on account of their resplendent space operas, thump-along pop hits and knack for a stadium-sized spectacle. And like the best rock magicians, they never repeat the same trick twice. Last year they scrapped the huge laser-beaming satellite set from their Wembley stadium stint and toured an arena show featuring a trio of hydraulic tower blocks; now they've recycled them (we hope, for the planet's sake) into a swarm of flying saucers and a gigantic Tokyo corner office for their current tour. For some, anything short of the Pyramid stage literally lifting off for Mars will be a disappointment. Instead, the Devon three-piece focus on their music's sheer rock wallop. The Pyramid stage – the cultural Canaveral from which Muse launched themselves into the headline hierarchy back in 2004 – gets as much of Muse 2010 as it can accommodate: steam flumes close Knights of Cydonia, honeycomb screens beam out hi-def visuals and pretty much everything they touch lights up – Dominic Howard's drums, Matt Bellamy's keytar and even the strings of his grand piano. But otherwise Muse's set is a ballsy, no-frills trawl through 21st-century rock's most powerful canon. Striding casually onstage with a cheery "hey!" they begin with Uprising – essentially what the Dr Who theme tune would sound like if Slade had written it in 1973 – before throwing away their biggest pop hit, Supermassive Black Hole, inside the first 10 minutes. It's when Bellamy raises his arm and ushers in the molten-rock riff of New Born that the pace is set at volcanic: Hysteria, Stockholm Syndrome and Knights of Cydonia are some of the most melodic metal songs ever written, and when Bellamy indulges his political conspiracy theories – while playing a double-necked guitar that sounds like an alien ambulance – on their latest album's title track The Resistance, paranoia has rarely sounded so powerful. In such company some of the poppier new material – Undisclosed Desires, Guiding Light – seem lightweight and insubstantial, and it's a shame that the Queen-aping epic United States of Eurasia has supplanted the far superior Butterflies & Hurricanes in Muse's set. But there are few final half hours that can compete with one containing Starlight, Time Is Running Out and Plug in Baby – arguably the best rock song of the century so far. And if it seems foolhardy, after Gorillaz's star-studded headline set last night, for Muse to bring on The Edge to play Where the Streets Have No Name to make up for U2 having to pull out of their slot, it actually turned into one of the defining moments of Glastonbury 2010. It could only have felt like more of an event if they'd wheeled Bono out for the chorus. So: little flash, minimal flam but a hefty dose of wham and bam. No one else is this heavy and tuneful, paranoid and confident, controversial and accessible. "That was the best gig of my life," says one young convert, the first of a lifetime of close Muse encounters. Who's watching: About 100,000 futuristic-rock fans, some wearing light-up LED T-shirts. High point: Being brave enough to cover Where the Streets Have No Name – take that Pet Shop Boys! Low point: No massive flying saucer! If you've got a massive flying saucer, it seems a shame not to use it. In a tweet: The space-rock invaders from Teignmouth deliver a supermassive Glastonbury headline show. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jun/27/muse-glastonbury-2010-review Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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