10th September 2010
Walking down Wembley Way towards the home of football, it’s hard not to get excited at the prospect of what lies ahead inside this gigantic venue for live music. An already sizable crowd greeted the first band of the day, White Rabbits.
These NYC scenesters have carved themselves a decent fan-base and it’s easy to understand why. Their pop mentality shines through their impeccable instrumentation complete with well placed guitar twangs, chirpy keyboards and an impressing rhythm section. Having a percussionist alongside the usual drummer made them really stand out, with the combined drum beats being key components of their best tracks, such as Percussion Gun & Lioness. A well rounded performance which won over many fans here this afternoon which was incredibly lively and infectious.
The Big Pink
Things took a sharp turn in the direction of despair soon after as The Big Pink casually greeted the increasingly eager Wembley crowd. It was hard to ignore the fact they had painted their Marshall Amps PINK! Who in their right mind would take one of the male dominated, desirable rock icons and turn it into a my little pony accessory? Looks aside…Their music was nigh on awful! It was painful to listen to their hugely out of tune vocals and repetitive amp buzz that lacked any melody or appeal. Even their one hit Domino’s prompted many to plug their ears than rather listen to another round of ‘lager lout on a friday night’ drones of “Dominoooooees, Dominoooooees, Dominoooooees“. Things could only get better!
Thankfully then it was the turn of the outspoken, myspace loving, chirpy Londonite Lily Allen to brighten up the afternoon with her sugary pop songs. Being heavily pregnant didn’t seem to slow her down much, although her complaints of her pregnancy tights falling down were way over the line of Too Much Information! She bounced around on stage all evening showing off a range of quirky dance moves and even had time to giving young rapper Professor Green a cameo as they both sung their collaboration Just be good to Green. Her vocals totally surprised me. They were strong and well versed with a superb sweetness to them which blunts the edges around some of the mature language used. Song writing is where she excels and to prove it she sung plenty of hits such as the breakthrough single Smile, hometown tribute LDN, Wild West inspired galloping It’s Not Fair & media directed classic The Fear. A very entertaining performance from a girl who is giving up music (hmmm…ok lily, we believe you…honest)!
With the stage now lit up to its full potential, you get the feeling that tonight is going to be somewhat over the top from Muse. Out from behind the gigantic stage with its huge video wall surround strode a confident Matt Bellamy before greeting the crowd with the legendary “Hello Wembley” tagline. Wasting no time they quickly got down to the business of giving the crowd a sonic workout of interstellar proportions as Muse launched headlong into Uprising. The crowd chorus was is full flow all throughout the night. At some points they were louder than the sound system!
Now there is only one man who could possibly get away with wearing a tailored LED suit with alternate coloured lights flashing from head to toe and be taken seriously. Matt is this man, he looked out of this world as he rose high above the crowd on a huge revolving platform guitar in hand to the delight of those squashed in the middle of the crowd.
Tonight’s set list was pretty good, all of their major successes made an appearance, early wonder riffing New Born, funk loaded Supermassive Black Hole, huge sing-a-long anthem Time Is Running Out , pop crossover cover Feeling Good, riffmanic Hysteria, cosmic Un-natural Selection as well as plenty of other new material from their latest Sci-Fi fuelled record The Resistance. Sometimes their indulgence in playing these sci-fi opera style space odysseys wore a little thin, but Matt was constantly throwing in classic guitar hooks and lovely prog melodies which kept you hanging on his next move.
As an entertainer there is none finer than Matt Bellamy as he weaved his magic on his full sized grand piano & array of guitars, producing some incredible sounds from these humble instruments (plus thousands of pounds worth of digital effects pedals no doubt). He was blinding to watch and the guitar flair he showed was up there with some of the best I’ve seen.
Just to highlight the scale of the stage show they put on this evening…they managed to hide a huge great balloon behind stage and floated it out high above the stage, like a gigantic shining alien craft about to descend on earth. Which something shortly did…an acrobat who spun and twirled through the air with beautiful grace. Add this to the tonnes of dry ice, streamers and giant eyeballs and you have a spectale for sure!
Just to cap off the night Muse thought that they would play 2 encores! Leaving us slightly worried that they were not going to play some of their classics. They arrived just in the nick of time as the entirety of Wembley stadium bounced and sung their best falsetto’s along to Plug In Baby and rocked out on the incredible Knights Of Cydonia! Sad to see the house lights finally go up on this epic space adventure the stadium emptied…but it will be along time before this place sees a finer performace! A stunning show from the Noughties greatest band!
Hmmmmmm……..so you didn’t appreciate the stack of pink Marshall amps then!!