Muse/Silversun Pickups

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, March 12, 2010

While plenty of rock bands formed in the mid 1990s and managed to get themselves to major labels, few have managed to blow up as much as Muse. The British group has been releasing material for a little over a decade now and with each album they have continued to change their sound and dodge the Radiohead comparisons that were made early on. Currently touring in support or their newest album The Resistance along with Silversun Pickups, Muse recently hit up several East Coast states. Cosmos Gaming was in attendance for the shows at Patriot Center in Virginia and Madison Square Garden in New York City (the pictures are from the Patriot Center and the show review is from the Madison Square Garden show but the set lists were about the same for both shows) and it quickly became clear that Muse is a band looking to take over the world.

Silversun Pickups seems like an appropriate choice for Muse to bring along as an opener, as they are a band that has been gaining a lot of attention in the past couple of years and offer laid back alternative rock that is influenced by a variety of different musical styles. The group played a mixture of material that encompassed both of their full length efforts (Carnavas and Swoon), and in the middle of their set they did a cool guitar loop that was extremely spacey and absorbing. Compared to their albums, Silversun Pickups’ live performance has even more energy and vocalist Brian Aubert tends to scream a little bit more which makes them a memorable act. Sometimes bands of this type don’t match up live but I really felt as though this group was able to prove me wrong, and despite the fact that they would be overshadowed by Muse’s elaborate stage show and set list they were still very enjoyable to watch.

Shortly after Silversun Pickups finished playing, Muse launched into their lengthy set. Compared to many shows that I have been to, the amount of down time between the two bands was minimal which was a pleasant surprise. Although words cannot truly do justice to the group’s stage show, I will try to do my best. The set started off with these two giant pillars displaying imagery, and the screens slowly lifted to reveal that the three members of the band were standing on the pillars playing high above the stage. From there, the group put on a spectacular stage show which involved the members playing on the pillars and stage, throwing giant eyeball shaped balloons into the crowd, and a laser show that was truly mesmerizing. However, don’t mistake this to mean that Muse skimped on the music as they sounded just like they do on album and even threw in some extended jams on some of the songs in order to make them stand out in a live setting. To put it quite simply, Muse’s performance is larger than life and if you even like their music a little they are worth seeing.

Photos by Chip Tamplin (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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