WHY MUSE IS THE 2ND BEST BAND ON THE PLANET, AND WHY METALHEADS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION
Last night a ticket to the Muse show at Madison Square Garden happened to float my way. Yes, you read that correctly; Muse headlined the Garden (and damn near sold it out, too). Why then, does no one in America seem to know about or pay attention to this band? Muse is undoubtedly one of the greatest bands of our generation (second to only one other band, IMO), and their appeal to just about every element of music fans was readily evident last night; metalheads, emo kids, indie rock kids, young, old, pretty, ugly — it doesn’t fucking matter, this band is just so damn undeniably good.
What’s more, Muse gets practically zero attention from the metal press, despite their obvious influences and propensity for all things heavy. Just listen to the groove riffs of “Hysteria” or “Assassin” and tell me these guys didn’t grow up on Sabbath and Zeppelin. Despite the fact that Muse’s music, for the most, isn’t guitar driven, the band has in Matthew Bellamy a bonafide, modern-day guitar hero. Bellamy’s playing is nothing short of astounding. He apreggiates complicated rhythms while singing, gyrating, and moving about the stage; and his solos, besides being more artful and “story”-like than most metal players out there, can be blindingly fast on occasion, but only when the moment is right.
Muse’s show at the Garden last night was absolutely amazing. The visuals were incredible; though they weren’t quite on the level of that band whose name starts with “T,” they were damn close, and what that band lacks in stage movement Muse more than makes up for. The sound was top notch; Muse’s music is so deep and layered that it’s easy to forget the band is a three piece (with a recently added keyboard player on the side). The rhythm section of Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme is what really makes the beast go; more than any other band I can think of, Muse’s music is FELT more than it is heard, and we have those two guys to thank. The band played a mix of songs from all of their albums, pleasing the die-hards that saw them at the Mercury Lounge just a few years ago as well as those who just discovered them with last year’s Black Holes and Revelations.
That Muse’s music isn’t guitar driven is probably the reason that the metal press doesn’t pay attention, and the fact that the drummer and bassist actually play with, you know, balls, is probably the reason they’re too heavy for the indie press. Given that the band gets very little attention from any press in America at all, it’s amazing this band could sell enough tickets to play Madison Square Garden. Usually bands that can’t be lumped into a genre struggle to make it, but Muse’s success is proof that it’s still possible to be widely successful by making truly original, unique music. Score one for the team.