BBC 6 Music 2008-04-13 – Muse Invincible

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A review of the 2008 Royal Albert Hall concert by BBC 6 Music.

Muse Invincible

Matt Bellamy Plays Huge Organ
13 April 2008 - Earlier in the week TCT organiser and Who legend Roger Daltrey declared that Muse were “the best band in the world” - judging by last night’s sold out performance at the Royal Albert Hall you’d have to agree it’s a very close call right now.

First off, who said something about a stripped down Muse set? Because the Devon lads, with Matt Bellamy leading the way threw everything but the kitchen sink at this charity bash. Sure there were no galactic light shows or acrobats dangling from the ceiling, (as many of the 130,000 or so will remember from their two massive Wembley shows back in June last year), but this was no less spectacular.

Charging on stage to Take a Bow Muse’s brainy heavy metal and prog-pop was unleashed on a fully standing crowd - people had seats, they just didn’t need them.

Four songs in and to huge applause Bellamy took to the piano for New Born for another distinguished performance, and if the TCT had a penny for every time the word ‘genius’ was uttered from a fans mouth, then the charity would have been making big money tonight.

The lads were really rolling by the time Invincible echoed out around the hall, and unlike Wembley where the sound could leak from the stadium, here there was more intensity as the noise simply bounced around the walls.

It was during Bliss that we were reminded of the spectacle of Wembley – here the cosmos opened once again as those giant glowing balls descended on the crowd. At one point Bellamy with the nimbleness of a master swordsman leapt up and with his guitar speared one of the enormous balloons which had floated up on stage, sending a cloud of confetti up in the air. This was impressive.

But the biggest surprise of all was yet to come.

Muse Pipe Dreams

There’s always one jaw dropping moment to be had during a Muse gig and this historic spectacle arrived during the encore.

Exiting the stage momentarily after an exhausting ride through Stockholm Syndrome, Chris and Dominic returned to the hall in darkness, when all of a sudden, with a synchronised blast from the instrument he was now in charge of, Matt Bellamy like some kind of haunting figure in a church was illuminated astride the giant house organ.

What made it all the more mesmerising is that Bellamy, who is a classically trained pianist, could actually play it well, indeed every 9997 of those speaking pipes were making sweet music. Silence and amazement then, not least because Megalomania, a song from their Origin of Symmetry album is rarely given air time. It made sense to do it here as Bellamy recorded the original track using a pipe organ anyway. There was all the grandiose sentiment you’d expect from a song with that title.

A musical genius? Either way another penny for the TCT pot.

Ironically Muse who had made this gig every bit as special as Wembley finished with the song they opened with back in June at the stadium shows – Knights of Cydonia.

Drummer Dom was last to leave the stage saying, “We’ll be back London, see you very soon.” But the reality is they only have a V Festival penned in for later this year. The good news is they are planning on hitting the studio soon.

It’s very hard to fault the Devon trio right now, but if one had to be picky then Matt Bellamy’s green socks and Dominic’s matching green trousers were a little harsh on the eye.

Set List:

Take a Bow
Map Of The Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
New Born
Butterflies and Hurricanes
Feeling Good
Time is Running Out
Stockholme Syndrome


Megalomania (Matt Bellamy performs it on the organ)
Plug In Baby
Knights of Cydonia

See also

Go back to BBC 6 Music