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inthenews.co.uk: Muse, Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury 2010, June 26th


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By Lewis Bazley at Glastonbury.


A night after Gorillaz struggled to fill the gap left by the Edge's mountainous guitars and Bono's not dissimilar ego, Muse underlined their reputation as one of the best live bands in the world. The Devon trio's Pyramid Stage performance largely eschewed their typical light and sound extravaganza in favour of stadium rock riffs and undeniable momentum.


Matt Bellamy had a touch of Jack White in his white t-shirt and red jeans, though his multi-instrumentalism confirmed him as a cut above the White Stripe's musical talents, while Chris Wolstenholme puffed nonchalantly on a pipe between thumping basslines. And while Bellamy's onstage banter was minimal - a happy birthday for the festival, a gleeful cry of "it's fucking sunny at last!" - the gulf in quality between the festival's two headline sets thus far was hammered home. While Gorillaz veered between the spectacular and the stultifying and pulled out a host of guest stars to make up for Damon Albarn's curious reticence, Muse let the material do the talking with newer cuts like Guiding Light and the unashamedly Queen-esque United States of Eurasia meshing well with fan favourites from Supermassive Black Hole to Hysteria.


Yes, there was a guest appearance, with The Edge's guitar on a Muse rendition of Where the Streets Have No Name providing what many felt was a more likeable U2, namely one withouot a Bono. But when a setlist tees up a goal opportunity with Plug In Baby before smashing it home with Knights of Cydonia, you'd have to be deeply cynical to deny the skills of Bellamy, Wolstenholme and Dom Howard. Indeed, the admiration for Muse's stature on the live stage was clear around the site as Saturday shuddered into Sunday, with a large swathe of festivalgoers stressing they wouldn't normally buy a Muse record before gushing about the quality of the headline set.


As 100,000 people filtered out into the night, it seemed as if a gauntlet had been thrown down to Gorillaz and all future Glastonbury big names - that's how you do a headline show.



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