Reading Little John's Farm 2011 (gig)

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Stockholm Syndrome
Set-list sheet
Citizen Erased
Citizen Erased
Official line-up poster
Curtain before New Born
Day ticket
Schedule sheet
Guest day ticket
Muse show
Venue Little John's Farm[source?] (Reading Festival[1][2]—Main Stage[3])
Date 28th August 2011[1][2]
Location Richfield Avenue, Reading[1][2]
Country United Kingdom
Songs 20[4]
Support Elbow et al.[2]
Start (UTC+1) 21:30[3], 10:00[5] (doors)
Capacity 87,000 [1][source?]
Price (GBP) 89.50–266.18[6][7]
Sold out? Yes[8][9]

Muse performed for Reading and Leeds Festivals 2011 as headliners.[1][2] Muse had originally intended to end the Resistance tour in 2010.[10] Upon being offered to headline Leeds and Reading festivals, however, the band decided to continue touring.[10] The first substantive rumours of Muse appearing at the festivals began in January with VirtualFestivals including Muse among its headliner predictions, while implicitly claiming inside knowledge.[11] Morgan Nicholls purportedly stated during the NME Awards that the band would be performing.[source?]

From the point of accepting the headline slot, the band didn't wish for the the festivals to be part of the Resistance tour.[10] After the band pondered how to differentiate the occasion, Matthew Bellamy recalled that it was the tenth anniversary of Origin of Symmetry's release, and suggested that the album be performed during the festivals.[10]

The Muse website in mid-March announced that Muse would be headlining the festivals, as a renaissance of sorts for Origin of Symmetry, including songs from across their "career[s] to date".[1] Showbiz and pre-Showbiz works of the Muse repertoire were not included within "career". Said announcement also stated that a stage different from those used on the Resistance tour would be used.

Bellamy later said on his twitter account that the band will "probably play Origin in its entirety" at the two festivals.[12] In mid-August Christopher Wolstenholme confirmed that the entire album would be performed, while the band's intention was for it to be performed in order.[10] Wolstenholme claimed that five songs which hadn't been performed for a long time were causing the trio to worry, including Darkshines and Screenager.[10]

From the 15th of August,[13][note 1] Muse rented LH2 Studios[14][15] on Concord Road, London, in order to rehearse and test the stage design.[13][14][15][note 2] Photographs from their time there were uploaded by various members of Muse's touring crew, some of which unveiled the stage design publicly[16][17] for the first time. The stage and equipment were packed by the 24th, ready for transfer to the Leeds[18] Festival site in Bramham Park.[note 3]

Two competitions were held for single pairs of tickets. The first asked for Muse t-shirt designs and the winning design was chosen by the band.[19][20][21] The second was a Muse forum popular poll for ideal Muse performance venues.[22] The former was for Reading Festival only,[19][20][21] while the latter was for either Reading or Leeds.[22]

For the performance itself, the "What's He Building" intro was used, for the first time since the Origin of Symmetry tour. A single curtain was lowered several minutes before the intro, and during it flashes of light behind band members revealed their shadows on the curtain, visible to the crowd and relayed on the side-screens. These flashes were synchronised to sounds in the intro track.

Once What's He Building had finished, Bellamy began the piano intro to New Born.[23] After said intro, he rose and walked to the stage-front, at which point the curtain was raised and his finger pointed upward in standard New Born teaser fashion.[23] For the beginning of Bliss, Bellamy triggered a synthesiser intro via his integrated Kaoss Pad, rather than play the arpeggios on guitar. The synthesiser intro appeared on the album and had been performed for some Absolution-era gigs[note 4] and Leeds Festival, while the latter had been used for both the Black Holes and Revelations and The Resistance tours gigs.

The end of Space Dementia saw the return of the guitar outro, which had been used in 2006 as an outro to Knights of Cydonia. An example of such use as an outro can be found on the BBC television recording of Reading Festival 2006. For Hyper Music, Wolstenholme sang the choruses in place of Bellamy, though with vocal effects applied to sound more similar to the latter. Eyeball balloons were released during Plug In Baby,[4] which were mostly blown to the stage's right side by the wind.[note 5]

For Micro Cuts, lasers were used.[4] Before the descending riff, Bellamy teased with falsetto "whimpering" sounds, but came the time, he stepped away from his microphone and neglected to sing. Darkshines was transposed a semitone down,[4] which fans on forums speculated as having been done to make the vocal part easier[source?]. Note that this has been done to other songs in the past, including Fury and Starlight.[source?]

As was the case at Leeds Festival, flame throwers in the shape of a hand, named "flame fingers" on the set-list,[4] were used during Megalomania choruses.[4] The flame-throwers were visibly shorter than at Leeds,[24][25] however, due to portions of the stage having been melted by them.[25] These flame-throwers were also used during Stockholme Syndrome.[4]

For the finale, a fireworks display was set off[4] at the end of Knights of Cydonia, during which[note 6] an extended drum solo was performed. Howard proceeded to thank the crowd and tell them that they were "fucking amazing" as usual, but did so in a more enthusiastic and lengthy manner.

This was also the last known performance of Screenager, Darkshines, and Megalomania.



After New Born Bellamy "Good evening Reading Festival!"[23]
After Micro Cuts "Thank you very much!"[34]
Before Megalomania "Thanks very much for listening to us, we've had a really good time here. It's been a long time since we've played some of these songs. [Clears throat] Here we go".[35]
After Uprising Howard "Thank you!"[36]
After Hysteria "Thank you.[37] How're you guys doing Reading? Are you feeling good? Good to see you guys. [It's] always a pleasure. Who saw Deftones? I heard they played, good band".[38]
After Starlight Bellamy "Thank you. You guys have been amazing!"[39]
After Knights of Cydonia "Thank you Reading! See you again next year[unsure]".[40]
Howard "You guys rock, Reading. We love you guys. Thank you so much, you guys are fucking amazing. Cheers, thank you. We'll see you again. Cheers".[40]

Price details

Type Base price Booking fee Postage Total Sold out?
Day[6] 82.50 7.00 5.25 94.75 Yes[8]
Weekend[7] 192.50 204.75 Yes[9]
Weekend with early entry[7] 207.50 7.25 221.75


BBC Three broadcast Muse's set partially, from 22:20–00:30 on the night of the performance.[41]

A fan-led coalition began on Facebook in protest against the BBC only airing 3 of the 11 songs from Origin of Symmetry.[42][43][44][45] However, the BBC claimed that Muse only permitted them to broadcast certain songs because they were not comfortable with the rare songs from Origin of Symmetry.[46]

Sp@ceH made a recording, which can be obtained here[registration needed].


  1. New Born [watch]
    (Black Kawai Grand, Manson Red Glitter 2.0, walnut Status S2-Classic)
  2. Bliss (extended) [watch]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  3. Space Dementia (guitar outro) [watch—1080p]
    (Black Kawai Grand, Manson DL-1 Delorean, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  4. Hyper Music [watch—1080p]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, walnut Status S2-Classic)
  5. Plug In Baby [watch]
    (Manson Mirror, red Fender Jazz Bass)
  6. Citizen Erased [watch—720p]
    (Manson 7 String E Guitar, black Kawai Grand, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  7. Micro Cuts [watch—720p]
    (Manson Mirror, Status Super-Vintage GP)
  8. Screenager (guitar) [watch—720p]
    (Manson Chrome Bomber, sunburst Fender Jazz Bass)
  9. Darkshines [watch—1080p]
    (Manson Ali Top, black Status S2-Classic)
  10. Feeling Good [watch—720p]
    (Black Kawai Grand, red Fender Jazz Bass)
  11. Megalomania [watch—1080p]
    (Black Kawai Grand, Status Super-Vintage GP)
    Stadium Siren / We Are the Universe (intro music)
  12. Uprising (riff version) [watch]
    (Manson Mirror, Status Original Series II)
  13. Supermassive Black Hole [watch]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  14. Interlude + Hysteria + Sweet Child O'Mine riff + Back in Black outro [watch]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  15. Bored riff + My Own Summer (Shove It) riff + Stockholm Syndrome + Negative Creep riff + Endless Nameless riff [watch]
    (Manson DL-1 Delorean, walnut Status S2-Classic)
  16. Helsinki Jam
    (black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  17. Undisclosed Desires [watch]
    (Manson Keytar, Status Super-Vintage GP)
  18. Adagio for Strings snippet[47] + Resistance [watch]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  19. Starlight [watch]
    (Manson 007, black Status S2-Classic)
  20. House of the Rising Sun riff + Time Is Running Out + Power of Soul riff [watch]
    (Manson M1D1 Black, black-LED Status S2-Classic)
  21. Man With a Harmonica + Knights of Cydonia [watch]
    (Manson Chrome Bomber, Status Super-Vintage GP)

Preparations gallery


  1. Assuming that the crew went straight to LH2 after arriving in London.
  2. By induction—it is unlikely that the LH2 would have been rented and then not used for the whole two weeks, in favour of using another venue.
  3. Assuming that the crew went straight from LH2 to Bramham Park.
  4. Need to specify which of both.
  5. I guess, given that, as best I can recall, the wind was blowing towards the band.
  6. Can't remember the timing. Need to verify that fireworks had been set off before the outro finished.


  1. a b c d e Muse to Headline Reading and Leeds Festival (2011-03-21). Muse website. Retrieved 2011-03-22 from
  2. a b c d e (2011-03-21). [Carling Weekend line-up poster]. Live Nation website. Retrieved 2011-03-21 from [verify]
  3. a b c (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  4. a b c d e f g h [Set-list sheet]. Retrieved 2011-08-28. [verify]
  5. a b c d e f g (2011-09-18). [Photograph of schedule sheet]. Amazon Web Services. Retrieved 2011-09-21 from [verify]
  6. a b (201?). [Sunday tickets order page]. Seetickets. Retrieved 2011-04-15 from[dead link].
  7. a b c (201?). [Weekend tickets order page]. Seetickets. Retrieved 2011-04-15 from[dead link].
  8. a b Day tickets (2011). Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  9. a b All weekend tickets for this year’s festival have sold out (2011-07-26). Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  10. a b c d e f Zane Lowe. (2011-08-09). [Interview with Christopher Wolstenholme]. BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 2011-08-10 from [verify]
  11. Chris Eustace. (2011-01-13). Updated: We predict the headliners of 2011. Virtual Festivals. Retrieved 2011-01-28 from [verify]
  12. Matthew Bellamy. (2011-03-28). So we'll probably play Ori .... Twitter. Retrieved 2011-04-15 from
  13. a b Thomas Kirk. (2011-08-14). @dragonflydi10 Yeah back t .... Twitter. Retrieved 2011-08-15 from
  14. a b muse set list from rehearsals at lh2 from lead singer (2011-09-07). eBay. Retrieved 2011-09-09 from
  15. a b muse stage plan blue print of all lights (2011-09-15). eBay. Retrieved 2011-09-16 from
  16. Preview of the muse stage ... (2011-08-25). Twitter. Retrieved 2011-08-26 from [verify]
  17. Well the lights are workin ... (2011-08-25). Twitter. Retrieved 2011-08-26 from [verify]
  18. Thomas Kirk. (2011-08-24). Farewell dear console. See .... Twitter. Retrieved 2011-08-25 from [verify]
  19. a b Win VIP Reading Festival tickets (2011-07-29). Muse website. Retrieved 2011-08-20 from
  20. a b T-shirt competition finalists revealed (2011-08-01). Muse website. Retrieved 2011-08-20 from
  21. a b And the winner is... (2011-08-08). Muse website. Retrieved 2011-08-20 from
  22. a b Fantasy Venue Competition (2011-08-15). Retrieved 2011-08-20 from
  23. a b c BBC & xxnishexx. (2011-08-28). Muse @ Reading Festival - What's He Building? + New Born - 28/08/2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-09-23 from
  24. Marc 'astrataz'. (2011-08-29). MUSE Reading 2011 Megalomania(HD 1080p). YouTube. Retrieved 2011-09-22 from
  25. a b kate15099. (2011-08-27). Megalomania - Muse - Leeds Festival 2011 - FULL!. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-09-22 from
  26. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  27. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  28. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  29. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  30. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  31. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  32. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  33. (2011-08-22). [Artist Info]. Reading Festival website. Retrieved 2011-08-22 from
  34. secretclown. (2011-08-29). Muse - Micro Cuts Live Reading Festival 28/08/2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  35. Marc 'astrataz'. (2011-08-29). MUSE Reading 2011 Megalomania(HD 1080p). YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-30 from
  36. DeeThreeDee. (2011-08-30). Muse - Protester Intro + Uprising (Extended) - Live @ Reading 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  37. secretclown. (2011-08-29). Muse - Hysteria Live Reading Festival 28/08/2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  38. DeeThreeDee. (2011-08-30). Muse - Stockholm Syndrome - Live @ Reading 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  39. DeeThreeDee. (2011-08-31). Muse - Starlight - Live @ Reading 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  40. a b DeeThreeDee. (2011-08-31). Muse - Man With A Harmonica + Knights of Cydonia - Live @ Reading 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from
  41. BBC Three Programmes - Reading and Leeds Festival, 2011, Muse. BBC website. Retrieved 2011-08-20 from
  47. xxnishexx. (2011-08-29). Muse @ Reading Festival - Resistance - 28/08/2011. YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-31 from

See also

Go back to the gig archive