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NME-Muse & Biffy: Inside their Wembley shows


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There is an article about the Saturday gig in the new NME. Just bought it at the airport.

It features a review by Simon Neil, I can scan the page later if you want :happy:


Also in NME, the 2010 festival polls in which some of them Muse have been voted


Here it is:







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here's a transcript. :D




So says Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil, our guest critic, of the day when his band supported Muse at their supermassive Wembley shows this weekend


A magnificently bleached Simon Neil, looking for all the world like a Day-Glo Father Christmas, cranes to look over the perilous drop from a VIP box in the rafters of Wembley Stadium in a stage set designed as a Tokyo corner office and 80,000. Muse maniacs awaiting the second night of their monumental weekend. And comprehensively craps himself.


“Our guitar player went out with his camera and took a few shots and totally put the shitters up us,” he grins. “He came back shaking.”


Biffy's road to Wembley was an early train from Scotland, but for a show so tech-savvy and futuristic, surely it'd be more cost-effective to simply beam the support acts in. Certain I Am Arrows seem to materialise onstage from another, far more modest indie universe. Charming and catchy as ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Green Grass’ are, catchiness and charm don't count for shit when you're playing to people 12 miles away. You need balls and bluster by the barrel-load, and Andy 'unassuming' Burrows doesn't have enough of the "Fuck me, I'm fabulous" frontman gene to carry it off. Yet.


Balls, you want? Bluster, is it? Ah, White Lies just the ticket. With synths like Panzer tanks and Harry McVeigh's voice resonating so deeply there's Chilean miners dancing to it, White Lies hammer home their stadium-worthy goth-pop status with confidence and panache. Their lyrical statements may occasionally feel grand and empty—"Strangers don't hide!" claims one new track, ridiculously—but their sonic attack hits you like a coked-up Ricky Hatton.


At which point a topless, tatted light bulb comes onstage, runs down Muse's walkway into the crowd and screams about God and mountains for half an hour, opening with a battle-ready bout of fury and ferocity before calming gradually to the Foo Fighting punch of 'God & Satan' and 'The Captain', essentially a heavy metal Slade.


"It was ego-rific!" says Simon, settling down in the VIP box for Muse's set afterwards. "We got to use the ego ramp! You get to turn around and see your band playing and really get a sense of the size of the place. That was when I absolutely shat myself. You can never quite compete with a rammed, tiny room, but as soon as you hear 80,000 people singing along with your song, the adrenalin shoots straight into you."


Sure enough, 80,000 pulses race as the lights dim, an ever-watching eye appears above the stage and a protest march of flags and banners swarms into the photo pit. Muse stride onstage to 'Uprising''s double-necked Doctor Who stomp, turning their gaze from the stars to the underground, all black ops and revolutions. 'MK Ultra' highlights covert CIA operations, 'United States of Eurasia' (Q: How much more Queen could this song be? A: None—none more Queen) pits the entire land masses against each other and, judging by the amount of air-punching that greets 'The Resistance', Matt Bellamy has his own mini-army ready to revolt.


The revolution, however, will be maximised. When the Rock isn't carrying the show on its tyre-squealing collision course with brilliance ('Stockholm Syndrome', 'Plug In Baby', 'Knights of Cydonia', etc), the Flash takes over. Ribbon cannons greet the 'Vienna'-meets-'We Will Rock You' that is 'Guiding Light'. The band take to a spinning, flying pedestal in the middle of the crowd for 'Undisclosed Desires'. Matt appears in a pixelated Tron suit for 'Take A Bow'. And, of course, there's the customary mothership, a giant inflatable UFO which circles the entire stadium, out of which drops an acrobat in a shiny silver suit, spinning on a wire from its underside. Taking notes now, Arctic Monkeys?


Biffy Clyro are. "It needs to be over-the-top but what Muse prove is that it doesn't need to be cheesy," says an awestruck Simon, and he's righ: Muse's 2010 stadium show makes Take That's 'Circus' look like Daventry petting zoo. Bono's mantis? Pah, a veritable crabstick. Floyd's Wall? Practically Lego. Muse have re-set the stadium bar to a new height of innovation and imagination tonight. No amount of tarted-up dancers are going to match this, Ms. Minogue...







"Every time they step out onto the stage people really don't know what to expect. You're looking at it, it looks like a building, it looks like a Rubik's Cube, but it's not either, even the ratio of it is all fucked-up. It's like being in a magic eye picture, but that moment when they start is so impressive. It's hard not to peak out when your stage looks like that but they didn't at all. They're playing a five-inute jam of drum'n'bass that sounds like a fucking Lightning Bolt or something and people are into it and don't even realise what they're being exposed to.


Most of their songs are driven by the power of the riff and it's amazing to make people who don't necessarily follow heavy rock music get into that and make it something more, something better. In a stadium it's so hard to have an intimacy and that wallop in the face but Muse have managed to do that. I doubt even U2 do it quite as well as Muse. They have the humanity as well as the technology. Muse are able to move between the two. When he came on in the light suit, he was wireless! When Peter Gabriel did that he had a guy behind him with a fucking cable! It's taking those elements and making it something more. To know that Muse have gone from the smallest venues in the UK to taking it to everyone, you realise the bravery it takes.


So many bands weren't willing to put their neck on the line and go, 'Let's try and play Wembley and make it the best thing anyone's ever seen'. No-one these days is as brave as Muse. When that aerialist fell out of the UFO it was like seeing At The Drive-In live, it was wooow. I'd give us a 10 and Muse 9.99."



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