Beginning in late 2009, Muse set off on a multi-continent tour in support of their fifth full-length album, The Resistance. With multiple United States legs of the tour, Muse fans in the area likely caught the tour as early as March 2010 in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. For those who missed out the first time — or for those who couldn’t miss another chance to catch the English act — “The Resistance Tour” wrapped back around to the northeast, stopping at Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center.
Lead by frontwoman Emily Haines, Metric opened the evening with b-side “Black Sheep”, most well-known from the 2010 summer comedy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The Canadian quartet stuck primarily to their 2009 full-length, Fantasies, but they also dipped into their their first release with “Dead Disco” — the 2003 cut clearly pleasing longtime fans who arrived early at 7:30 to catch the band. Strong performances of Metric’s four latest latest singles wrapped up the thirty minute set.
Gold Guns Girls
Help I’m Alive
Muse‘s set began with images of men walking up the stairs of three enormous, shrouded towers. As the curtains fell, the towers revealed the English trio’s core members, each performing atop the massive pillars. The Resistance opener “Uprising” went first, the entire arena roaring with energy. The excellent Black Holes and Revelations contributed “Map of the Problematique”, and the band even dug back into 2001 with “New Born”. The giant towers lowered and vanished into the floor for “Supermassive Black Hole”, which was cleverly augmented with snow effects on the stage’s enormous video screens.
Many of Muse’s songs were supplemented with pieces of other songs. Absolution‘s “Hysteria”, for example, contained pieces of “The Star Spangled Banner” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black”; “Time is Running Out” featured “House of the Rising Sun” and Audioslave’s “Cochise”. Interestingly, though, “United States of Eurasia” was missing the reworking of Frederic Chopin’s “Nocturne In E-Flat Major, Op.9 No.2”.
Following a cover of “Feeling Good” (released on Origin of Symmetry), drummer Dominic Howard unleashed a fantastic drum solo with blistering basslines from Christopher Wolstenholme supporting the performance. Musically, Muse could not have sounded tighter in the 20,000-person arena, but it was the additional visual treats, such as choreographed lasers, that really highlights Muse’s dedication to putting on a memorable show.
“Plugin Baby” — the third and final song from the band’s 2001 full-length — concluded Muse’s set with enormous, eyeball-themed balloons falling into the standing-area crowd. After a five-minute break, though, Muse returned to perform “Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: Overture”. “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Knights of Cydonia” finished the evening, the latter also featuring a segment of Ennio Morricone’s “Man with a Harmonica” (most well-known from Sergio Leone’s epic Once Upon A Time In The West).
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
United States Of Eurasia
Feeling Good (Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse cover)
Time Is Running Out
Plug In Baby
Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: Overture
Knights of Cydonia
Paired with Prudential Center’s fantastic production, Muse’s rock-solid performance and bonus visual spectacles created a truly magnificent evening. Matthew Bellamy’s vocals were spot on for the entire hour-and-a-half performance, highlighting his impressive range and control; indeed, Muse is a band focused on precise execution of their finely-crafted songs.