Late Breakthrough of Madness at Muse (2000-01-07 NRC article)

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Translated review of the 2000-01-06 gig at Paradiso, Amsterdam.

Late breakthrough of madness at Muse

Hester Carvalho, January 7 2000

For a group like the English Muse, you see a future for you effortlessly. After a first CD, the recently released debut Showbiz, and small-scale performances, such as last night in the full Paradiso, she will go on to big venues and festivals like Pinkpop and Reading. And the world will love them, from this trio around the shrewd singer Matthew Bellamy who pushes out his voice like a bellows and writes songs that contain both impetuosity and romantic rapture.

The three band members are all around twenty and have been playing since they were thirteen. This probably explains their close-knit sound for a trio. Yet the group is not so striking musically. The instrumentations are driven, but Bellamy's guitar accents are very similar to those of the young The Edge of U2. In the live versions of their songs, last night it turned out that there were few really exciting songs, most of them must have Bellamy's dramatic vocals.

That voice is Muse's asset. He does not deliberately jump from nut to note, but is almost rounded between the whole and half tones. Jeff Buckley did it too, even though he was crazier. Matthew Bellamy keeps his voice under control, so that he can give the wailing out in time.

Because that is Bellamy's goal: at least one moment of emotional frenzy per song. Although the lyrics are not understandable, the black-haired singer turns into a desperate Heathcliff or Hamlet.

Just as Shirley Bassey starts her concerts on hurricane strength and holds a performance for a long time, Bellamy does not need time to warm up. He set in dramatically and remained at the same level. This resulted in a certain uniformity.

But just when the group's performance threatened to be disappointing, Muse played the one song that made it all worthwhile: Fillip. It has a tight couplet and a violently derailing refrain that is brought back into play by hacking guitarplay, while Bellamy, as an exorcist, raves the demons away. The execution of this song had the genuine madness it was missing earlier.

Concert: Muse. Heard: 6/1 Paradiso, Amsterdam.

See also