Sheer insanity. Thatís the best way to describe the incredible Muse show last night at popscene in San Francisco. A line that basically held capacity by 5:30PM and swelled to over 1500 people by the time the doors opened was just part of the enormous buzz surrounding this show. It was only the bandís second-ever San Francisco show (with the other gig also being at popscene back before Showbiz hit streets) and the air was thick with excitement. For the lucky 400+ who made it into the show, it undoubtedly will be recalled in legend.
The room was packed and sweaty when the trio from London-via-Devon hit the stage to the loudest reception ever at popscene. 13 songs were unleashed, the extra sound equipment brought in being used to its fullest. Sonically, it was the best show in the club nightís eight-and-a-half year existence and the performance was in the top two, as well. Most of the set was culled from the bandís excellent third record, Absolution, (ìHysteria,î ìThe Small Print,î ìSing For Absolution,î ìApocalypse Pleaseî), but there were two nuggets from 1999ís Showbiz, ìMuscle Museum,î and ìSunburn,î and tracks like ìNew Bornî and ìBlissî from 2001ís import-only Origin Of Symmetry. If you have never witnessed the majesty of Muse live, you are truly missing out. While they do not have the groundbreaking genius of Nirvana, I feel they share the same ability to overwhelm the listener with the amount of sound coming from just three souls and could see how there could be similarities to Nirvana live gigs prior to ìSmells Like Teen Spiritîís breaking into the mainstream. Muse are a truly special act, a rifftastic Radiohead fronted by a metal Mozart, a band with amazing songs and an incredible gift for the live performance. By the time set closer ìStockholm Syndromeî pummeled us into sonic bliss, the effect was obvious: hordes of sweaty, grinning faces streamed out of the club, knowing that they had just seen a huge band in an intimate space, a show that they would most likely never forget. Complete brilliance.
The setlist for Muse in San Francisco on May 6, 2004:
ìThe Small Printî
ìSing For Absolutionî
ìButterflies and Hurricanesî
ìTime Is Running Outî
ìPlug In Babyî