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Show Review: Muse wsg Dead Sara at Joe Louis Arena 3/2/13


British band, Muse, played their first Detroit area show in 3 years on Saturday night with one of the biggest light show concepts currently employed by any rock band. Supporting their sixth album, 2012’s The 2nd Law, Muse played to a very diverse audience filling about 75-80% of the Joe Louis Arena’s capacity. The three member band opened the show with “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” with a half bowl-shaped stage covered with LED-screens that most bands would lust over. Following that the real fun started, a reverse pyramid 5-level shapeshifting light system descended from the ceiling, one of the most sophisticated pieces of lighting technology in existence.

Muse played the songs that made them famous, as well as songs from their new dubstep influenced album, The 2nd Law. Earlier singles “Resistance” and “Supermassive Black Hole” joined the funked-out bass-line from new single “Panic Station”, all playing in the first 30 minutes of the hour and 45 minute performance. The visual elements of the show and the bands musicianship were what really made the show. Unlike other arena filling bands with similar sized stage shows, lead singer, Matt Bellamy, barely addressed the audience to build any type of emotional connection or rapport with the audience. Instead, the audience was just there watching Muse do their own thing, but Muse do their own thing well enough not to miss the attachment.

The evening continued with “Knights Of Cydonia”, and two songs from The 2nd Law, the Nero produced dubstep ballad “Follow Me”, and the new longest running #1 song at Alternative Rock radio, “Madness”. Throughout the performance, the lighting ornament above the stage changed shapes and colors through just about every song. Some of the ornament’s visuals featured CGI-styled graphics, while at other times it was live shots of the band.  The show carried on with their US breakthrough single, “Time Is Running Out”, the sexy “Undisclosed Desires” and the anthemic “Uprising” all playing before the encore. At this point, the inverted pyramid lighting contraption actually became a real pyramid mounted to the stage. Muse closed out the show with encores “Starlight” and “Survival” bringing in cheers upon cheers. I can only hope that Muse care enough about their fans (or money) to slowly work on adding some personal elements to their live shows.

Female fronted, hard rock band, Dead Sara, opened the Joe Louis Arena show. The Los Angeles based band have released one self-titled album so far and received success with their singles “Weatherman”, “We Are What You Say” and “Lemon Scent”. Dead Sara were last in Detroit opening for 90’s punk band The Offspring in late August.