Super Massive Black Hole

Once again, I have had the opportunity to listen to Muse live, this time at the new Wembley stadium. The last time I had the pleasure was about two or three years back at Birminghams NEC, and I really wanted to hear them outside this time (say, Hyde Park, maybe), but as Wembley came up and is sort of local (100 miles at the most) myself and the better half went to see them. This was their Black Holes Revelations tour.

Initially, Wembley is a bloody nightmare. It isnt, as some might think, in central London. Or even mid-Greater London. From Southampton, its a train to Waterloo, a tube to Marylebone, and then a train to Wembley Stadium. Not Wembley Central, apparently, thats miles away, or something. All in all, travelling was not pleasant simply because I wish we were able to book car park tickets, but for whatever reason the website was not enjoying my attempts. So public transport it was then, even if it meant leaving a few minutes early to guarantee a place on the last train out of Wembley.

From the outside, Wembley looks small. Impressive, but small. I should point out here, Ive never been to a proper football pitch (I think they call them grounds) before, so I really didnt have much of a preconception, but lets just say that I was led to believe that footballers had a fair amount of running to do during a match. I have been massively mistaken. Football pitches arent actually that big. And although the building is impressive, in reality, it aint a monstrous coliseum. Honestly, I find it hard to believe how the project got delayed and over-budget. It baffles me still.

Inside, each section has its own toilets, merchandise booth, food drink and alcohol bars. It seemed very organised and well laid out. Hats off to the designer here, they did a good job with the layout and gates erected all over the place ensure crowd control when England play Germany. Apparently. I have nothing against Germans, its Labour whom I have gripe with.


So the gig!? Well some crappy band kicked of the show at about 2pm. Sorry, I didnt catch their name because the sound from the microphone just echoed around the relatively empty stadium at the time. Then Biffy Clyro followed, who I have heard of and rocked pretty good. They seemed to enjoy themselves (being topless and all) and felt comfortable on stage. Although, as it was still quite early, the sound was still bouncing all over the place. My Chemical Romance followed, and just about every teenager in the auditorium was jumping up and down.

I havent heard much from this group, but from what the better half has told me, theyre like Busted for alternative music fans. In my opinion, a cross between Placebos Brian Molko, and yeah, cant deny it, Busted, or McFly or something similar. They have some catchy songs, particularly the quieter tracks, but generally speaking, I didnt get along with them. I wont be buying their album.

And then, at about 8pm, confetti was blasted up into the air, the threesome walked from their mid-audience hideaway on to the stage, Matt picked up his guitar, Chris started to thump his bass and Dom beat the living daylights out his kit. Knights Of Cydonia.

As usual, Muse put on a great show. The sound improved with a fuller stadium, it wasnt great (not like Hyde Park) but it was bearable. The lighting was fantastic. The band were on form. Dom did a lot of speaking and shouting, and they played some awesome tracks. Often Muse tend to be quite quiet in terms of audience interaction, but I even heard a couple of Tas from Bellamy – they felt relaxed I think, and this is reflected in their recent work. They appear to be writing for themselves and not necessarily their label. A pleasing trait and something I hope they continue to do. Absolution was mind-blowing, and BHR was a pretty good follow-up.

I would have liked to have heard more of the older stuff, but I guess this is what happens when a band generate a large repertoire. I guess they have to lean towards the newer stuff over the old. I keep forgetting Muse are on studio album number four – it seems like only yesterday I was rocking to Muscle Museum in the Nexus nightclub in Southampton on a Saturday night. Ah, memories

To sum up Muse at Wembley: Muse were fucking awesome, but I wont be returning to Wembley. This gig is placed after RHCP and the Foo Fighters at number three. Sorry, but the Hyde Parks gigs outrank all others. Being outside is so much better, even if the roof at Wembley can move, it still isnt outside.

Heres a selection of terrible photos taken from my mobile phone. Remind me to take a digital camera next time – its not like they really check that hard.

Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007 Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007

Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007

Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007

Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007 Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007

Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007 Muse – Wembley Stadium – 19th June 2007

See the balls in the above left photo? The two big white ones? They had people attached and were moved and bounced around the stadium while they performed loops and whatnot. Very stylish. Very Muse. Very ball-related. They also released balls at the end of the gig as shown in the bottom right photo. What is it with Muse and balls?