Thursday, March 25, 2010

Concert Review: Muse sells out the Palace in Detroit

English alternative rock trio Muse played a theatrics-filled show to a sold-out crowd of 12,000-plus at The Palace of Auburn Hills last weekend.

Muse entered at 8:30 p.m. with a stage show that had the band performing on gigantic, elevated video platforms, amid a sea of laser lights. Frontman Matthew Bellamy oozes talent. He seems at one with whatever instrument he's playing, whether it's his Red glitter Manson guitar, piano or keytar.

The guys of Muse, who have been together over a decade, are longtime rock icons in the U.K. The band's popularity is spilling over to the states, and this is their largest-scale tour yet.

From ambient harmonics in "Undisclosed Desires" to fiery, blues-y guitar soloing in "Unnatural Selection," the night packed variety. Bellamy, hugging his six-string, has a way of delivering volatile, razer-edged guitar solos that are spastic, yet controlled. With confidence and charisma, he donned pinkish-red pants and glittery silver shoes, at times sliding across the stage and falling to his knees during guitar solos.

During the hour and a half performance, the crowd - sometimes standing mesmerized, sometimes pumping their fists - cheered for hits, "Uprising," "Supermassive Black Hole" and (closer) "Knights of Cydonia."

Muse uses pedal effects and techno-beats to color its sound, but it's doubtful anyone at the Palace would deny the members' artistry. Other highlights: classically-leaning piano soloing from Bellamy ("United States of Eurasia") and a meaty, rhythm section duet between bass player Christopher Wolstenholme, who favored a red-toned Fender jazz bass for the night, and drummer Dominic Howard.

With a mix of Brit-pop and neo-prog, some call Muse a new, amped-up Radiohead-- just more accessible and digestible.

Los Angeles alt-rocker Silversun Pickups opened at 7 p.m. The group is best known for its 2009 No. 1 alternative hit, "Panic Switch," and singles "Well Thought Out Twinkles," "Lazy Eye" and "Substitution." Lead vocalist Brian Aubert, bass player Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboard player Joe Lester fashioned an amalgam of rock, pop, folk and psychedelia and, judging by the between-act chit-chat, won over new fans.

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