Besides their headlining appearance at Coachella, Muse hasn't stopped nearby Orange County since their sold out at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater back in 2007. A completely sold out Honda Center enthusiastically welcomed back the band as they conclude their tour behind the album, The Resistance.
Three looming towers created a skyline inside the Honda Center as each band member was perched in the center. A laser beam shot through the floor next to lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy who used a mirror to reflect the laser back into the crowd as the band started to play "Uprising."
Grabbing a custom made Manson double neck guitar, Bellamy tore into the riff of "Resistance" as the visuals projected on the towers assaulted your senses in combination with the driving distorted bass of Christopher Wolstenholme and pummeling drums of Dominic Howard. Muse's attack on the audience was unrelenting with a blistering rendition of "New Born" ending with Bellamy chugging out a few bars of "Head Up" by the Deftones.
The panic inducing bass line of "Hysteria" whipped the crowd into a frenzy as three inebriated dudes in front of me tried to start a mosh pit at the back of the floor. It is difficult not to hear a tinge of Queen during "United States of Eurasia" as Bellamy displayed his virtuoso skills on the piano and sky high falsetto.
Staying behind the piano for "Feeling Good," Bellamy grabbed a megaphone for some distorted vocals during a verse. Only a band as big as Muse could get away with using a keytar for "Undisclosed Desires." Teasing the crowd with a few notes from Weezer's "My Name Is Jonas," the crowd feverishly clapped along to "Starlight."
Crystalline guitars of "Plug In Baby" melted into total bombast with the pit bouncing along. Bellamy crouched over his guitar to pull out the screaming notes of "Unnatural Selection". It seemed like it was mere minutes when they exited the stage for a breather. Sealing the deal on an amazing show was their strategic use of visuals from the Galaga arcade game during a blistering version of "Stockholm Syndrome." Wolstenholme pulled out the harmonica for the intro of "Knights of Cydonia" that put the final wraps on an exhilarating show.
Passion Pit relied on a synthesizer heavy barrage to engage the Muse fans. Michael Angelako's impressive falsetto managed to get some of the crowd moving especially during "Sleepyhead." It seems almost unfair that any band should open for Muse, but Passion Pit definitely gave it their all.
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Personal Bias: I bought a Korg Kaoss pad to try and emulate the bizarre effects built into Matt Bellamy's guitars.
Crowd: I have friends that barely like music concerts actually attended this show. Muse's appeal is definitely far reaching and continues to grow.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Let me pop that eye!" was screamed by a concert goer who was trying to puncture a giant eye balloon that fell from the ceiling during "Plug In Baby."
Random Notebook Dump: Every single seat was sold in the Honda Center. Even those that were directly behind the band.
Muse dedicated "Starlight" to a couple who got engaged at the show.
"Map of the Problematique"
"Supermassive Black Hole"
"United States of Eurasia"
"Time is Running Out"
"Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: The Overture"
"Knights of Cydonia"