Concert Reviews

Muse at American Airlines Center: Review and Photos

The tech crew is rushing around to get things started. Some of them are on the floor, frantically trying to get the fog machines going, and others are hanging from the ceiling checking the ginormous speakers from above. The fog begins to fill the stadium and the lights begin to dim. The crowd goes wild as a beam of lights shoot from a pyramid shape on the stage, and the first guitar riffs from "Supremacy" kick off the show. The stage is set with psychedelic lights beaming out of a pyramid that flashed black and white videos of the individual members of the band. From the second the first song begins the entire crowd is on their feet and it remains that way throughout the entire show.

Everything on the stage is lit up; from the spotlights on Dominic Howard's drum set, to the neck of Chris Wolstenholme's guitar. His guitar flashes in rhythm of lights to the beat of their next song, "Supermassive Blackhole". As the song continues, the crowd seems to become more relaxed as the arena fills with a different kind of fog. I begin to wonder what is more overpowering; Matthew Bellamy's amazing voice, or the surrounding smell of marijuana.

The pyramid of TVs begins to shift into a straight line as "Panic Station" starts up and the crowd seems to be very amused by what appears. Muse changes from the classic black and white videos to purple trolls dancing above and around the stage. Matthew Bellamy takes this opportunity to roll off of the stage into the front few rows of the crowd to serenade them with "Resistance."

In between sets, Muse takes the time to thank Dallas for their support and honors us with a guitar solo to the Star-Spangled Banner while wearing a stereotypical cowboy hat. Muse transitions without hesitation from the solo to "Hysteria" and everyone in the crowd sways back and forth with the band. Just when we thought we had seen the last of the unfitting cowboy hat, it appears again on Wolstenholme as he blasts out a hard-hitting harmonica intro to "Knights of Cydonia". The pyramid shifts again and this time the lyrics to the song appear as the audience sings along. The array of light beams scan the stadium during the acapella harmony of the song, and their voices continue to amaze the crowd.

Bellamy decides to give his guitar a break, and moves to the piano for "Explorers". Every note he strikes is perfect and his voice refuses to regress. He steps off the piano and takes a bow as the audience showers him with applause. The lullaby sound of "Explorers" puts the crowd in a trance, and Muse quickly changes the pace with their next song.

"Follow Me" begins and the band gets the crowd going with a unison fist pump. As soon as the dub-step portion of the song begins, Bellamy power slides across the stage and the light show intensifies. Bellamy turns a huge spotlight onto the crowd and scans the audience as they head bang to the chorus of the song.

"This is our very first song from our very first album," Bellamy says, as he moves towards the piano again. The air is full of pot and pyrotechnics at this point, and Wolstenholme's guitar lights up again with red strobes while they play "Sunburn".

There is a slight pause before the next song, then the infamous "Ma ma ma ma Mad Mad Mad.." begins, and despite the over abundance of radio plays, the crowd is enthralled when Muse begins playing "Madness". Meredith McCaslin, concert attendee, says she was extremely impressed at the show. "They were better live than any band I've ever seen," says McCaslin. "They don't hide behind auto tune like other artists today and every song was played to perfection."

"Stockholm Syndrome" is finally played and the TV's move into an old school MTV style pyramid. Different flashes of images appear on the individual screens and the pit goes insane when Bellamy requests, "Come on Dallas, let me hear you sing along."

Even for a completely sober person, the light show was extremely entertaining and the combined talents of the individual bandmates was outstanding. The wait for the encore seemed eternal, but was more than worth it as Muse announced "Texas is our favorite state."

Setlist: Supremacy Supermassive Black Hole Panic Station Resistance Hysteria (Star-Spangled Banner intro) Knights of Cydonia (Man with a Harmonica intro) Monty Jam Explorers Follow Me Sunburn Liquid State Madness Time Is Running Out (House of the Rising Sun intro) Undisclosed Desires Stockholm Syndrome (Rage Against the Machine's Freedom outro) The 2nd Law: Unsustainable Uprising (Extended outro)

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Megan Morris
Contact: Megan Morris