Music’s biggest weekend continued the party on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Hollywood Palladium, the night before the GRAMMYs. It was time for Muse. The dystopian arena rockers are getting ready to gear up for tour in support of their release last fall, Simulation Theory. Like the other acts over the weekend at the Palladium, Muse found themselves in a relatively intimate setting performing for 5,000 megafans.
Unlike their set at the Forum at the end of January, Muse were not backed by a video back screen. And still, there was no struggle in projecting intensity, power, madness–whatever was called for. A structure of light stems morphed from behind with the indicative color. The only illumination possibly more intriguing was frontman Matt Bellamy’s glowing, white shutter shades. In another nod to the late aughts, Bellamy donned a pair of red pants.
Muse began with “Algorithm,” off Simulation Theory, and then pulled the audience all the way in with “Psycho.” Though without the introductory video clip, a voiceover of the music video-featured sergeant sounded over to signal “Psycho.” You could hear a sizeable amount of fans monologuing along: “If you do not do, what you are told do, when you’re told to do it, you will be punished. Do you understand?” A green glow engulfed the stage as Muse descended into heaviness. When the song ended, a fan yelled, “I love you, baby!”
Aside from a few quick spurts, Bellamy wasn’t much for chatting. His few quips, however, were always met with praise. Following “Break It to Me,” Bellamy said, “Back to 2003.” They fiddled around for a moment, but then the crowd could hear it: “Time is Running Out.” Later, Bellamy had a moment of reflection. He said, “First time at the palladium. Love this venue so much. Always wanted to play here.” He spoke fast and his British accent almost disguised some words altogether. Spotlights then poured red over the stage. The introduction of “Uprising” called for a collective fist punch and double clap by the audience, who cemented their supreme level of fanship by taking over the chorus without Bellamy. “We will be victooooriousss.”
Muse are well-versed in playing oversized crowds filled with non-fans. Fortunately, there was no such plague that evening. What kept the Palladium performance pulsing was the energy between audience and band. It was constant. When they played the spellbinding, critically-acclaimed “Madness,” one fan said, “Not my favorite,” but kept dancing and singing as during the others. Muse were free to indulge on ego. The end of the set was a mashup of “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Assassin,” “Reapers” and “New Born.” It was a series of guitar solos and extended jamming.
When they returned for the encore, Bellamy loudly sputtered, “Put your hands in the air!” The rhythmic clapping began as “Starlight” did, and the audience flowed into the first chorus alone and confident. When the song started to end, Bellamy led the last round of clapping. There was a brief blackout, but of course, Muse would not leave without performing “Knights of Cydonia.” The audience was one giant mass wilding out for the last few moments of the song, as did Muse. “You guys fucking rock LA,” drummer Dominic Howard bid farewell.
- Break It to Me
- Time Is Running Out
- The Dark Side
- The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
- Supermassive Black Hole
- Thought Contagion
- Stockholm Syndrome/ Assassin/ Reapers/ The Handler/ New Born
- Knights of Cydonia
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz