Muse are a band from Teignmouth, Devon, England. They got together after Matt Bellamy (Guitarist and singer) auditioned to be in Dominic Howard’s band in 1992. They then asked Chris Wolstenholme to learn bass to play in the band, and then took up lessons. The band was originally called Gothic Plague, but was then changed to Fixed Penalty, and then after that to Rocket Baby Dolls for a while. They then came to the name Muse late 1994.
The first album Muse released was Showbiz in 1999. The album came after Maverick a subsidiary of Columbia record took them on after two EPs (Muse EP, Muscle Museum EP) earned them many fans, and recognition among radio presenters and music publications.
The next album released was Origins of Symmetry in 2001, which really got the ball rolling for Muse as a band. The album was seen as a hit to critics, although their record label saw Matt’s vocals as not radio friendly, so they dropped their label, Maverick. This resulted in the album not being released in the United States until 2005 when Muse signed to Warner Bros.
Muse’s real push into stardom came with Absolution. This gave them their final push and the materiel to headline festivals. In 2004, they played what they described as the best gig of their lives at Glastonbury 2004, headlining the Pyramid stage on the Sunday night. What was their best show soon became also a very sad time in the bands career, as Dominic’s father died just an hour after their performance. The album, Absolution, helped Muse to victory at the MTV Europe awards and the Q Awards. They also won the ‘best live act’ at the 2005 Brits.
Their forth album came in 2006. Entitled Black Holes and Revelations, this was Muse’s most successful album to date. The album peaked at number 1 in the album charts in many countries around the world. This lead Muse to headline many festivals around the world including Reading and Leeds in 2006, playing above Arctic Monkeys and The Streets. It also saw playing two dates at Wembley Stadium after successfully headlining Isle Of Wight the same year. The two Wembley performances were then recorded for their DVD / CD called HAARP, which was released in 2008.
Their latest album came in 2009 and was called The Resistance, and was the first Muse album to be produced by the band themselves. It debuted at the top of the album charts in 19 countries. The Resistance tour started with them playing their home town in Teignmouth, but the tour then once again lead them to selling out two dates at Wembley Stadium. They then went on to support U2 on some of their dates on their 360 tour in North and South America. They also headlined Glastonbury again in 2010, along with many other festivals. The Resistance is their biggest commercially successful album to date, it has also won the most awards for the band.
Muse are known as one of the best live acts in the world, and rightly so. Not only are they amazing live, but they are also amazing on record. They will be no doubt one of the highlights of the festival, if not the best band to play all weekend. Bands have on and off days, but that never seems to happen with Muse. They seem to put on mind-blowing performances no matter what.
The whole band put everything into their live shows, and it really does show. People will go into their shows at Reading and Leeds not knowing what to expect and come out as fans.
If I was to recommend you to listen to listen to one album of Muse’s going into this performance, it would have to be Origins of Symmetry as they will be playing it in its entirity. Had this been a show where they were going to play a mix of all of their albums, I would recommend listening to The Resistance first. A lot of people seem to think the new Muse sound on this album wasn’t as good as their older material, but I firmly believe it is an amazing record, so go for that after you have listened to Origins of Symmetry.
The Setlist (Spoilers):
2011 marks the 10 year anniversary of Muse’s second album Origins of Symmetry and Muse are marking this occasion by playing the album in full at both Reading and Leeds. Expect this to be a once in a life time opportunity, and Matt Bellamy has gone out of his way to say this is the last time we may be able to hear some of these songs live. You would be mad to not catch this if you are at either Reading or Leeds festival.
We expect to see a couple of songs before they go into playing it in its entirety and also expect to see some classic tracks for an encore. This is something we expect to see:
2. Supermassive Black Hole
4. New Born
6. Space Dementia
7. Hyper Music
8. Plug In Baby
9. Citizen Erased
10. Micro Cuts
13. Feeling Good
15. Time Is Running Out
17. Knights of Cydonia
*Origin Of Symmetry is 51 minutes long, played live it will likely fill just over an hour. This is the type of setlist you can expect if Muse get an hour and thirty minutes, if they get two hours, you can expect a whole raft of extra hits, and perhaps a whole second half of the set comprised only of favourites.