Muse
H.A.A.R.P


3.5
great

Review

by Sean Rizzo USER (32 Reviews)
May 20th, 2008 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist


Immense boredom cued me to browse Youtube one monotonous day about a year ago. I had been paying attention to the buzz surrounding an eccentric rock outfit known as Muse on various sites, Sputnik being one of them. However, Youtube was the first time I experienced the band, and the majority of the videos during this time of discovery were live clips. I couldn’t help but be taken by the amount of sheer energy the trio put off. It seemed like they really enjoyed playing their music as much as the audience enjoyed listening to it. This is what convinced me to buy into the hype; their live show is what made me fall in love with them, and it’s also a key element of what makes Muse the band they are.

The band already has one live album/DVD, Hullaballoo, but the difference between that and H.A.A.R.P. is this performance was after the band released their most recent album Black Holes and Revelations, and a good deal of the set is from that album. A Muse show is already a big deal, but add to the fact this particular one is in their home country and it’s in a rather large venue, Wembley Stadium, and you’ve got yourself one expensive concert to put on. I can’t imagine the amount of money that was put into the show; when you watch the DVD you can see the hooplah that Muse generate and in turn how much effort was put into this simply by the structures on the stage, millions of lights, pyrotechnics, fog machines and oh yeah, that ridiculously giant screen that alternates between closeup shots of the band members and random flashy sequence shenanegans.

The band put together a nice set list, a blend of old and new but mostly new songs. Any fan will shiver in excitement when they hear the opening of the first song, “Knights of Cydonia”; an extensive stings-only intro echoes across the stadium as the band mans their instruments, and it leads straight into the song. Immediately noticeable is the how the bass and drums are mixed lower than they are in studio recordings, especially the bass. This is quite common for live mixes, but for a band like Muse that relies so much on the bass and drums to carry a song, it’s really disappointing. Matt’s vocals, guitar and piano are all way louder than everything else and it gets annoying. This was especially disappointing for bass driven songs like “Hysteria” and “New Born” and drums driven songs like “Map of the Problematique”.

Everyone was spot on with their performance, however. As expected, Matt shows off with altering some riffs in favor of more complicated riffs, and the band improvises a few times with satisfying results. There were a few jams in between songs that would’ve fit right in with a Muse song. The band’s more energetic songs are usually the ones that translate the best into a live setting, and fan favorites such as “Stockholm Syndrome”, “Butterflies and Hurricanes” and “Micro Cuts” are all there. However, “Citizen Erased”, which is generally considered by most fans their best song, is sorely missed.

Being a live album and DVD, this is only for big fans. Most of their well liked songs are here, and the band plays them all perfectly with some extra goodies thrown in. But the mix is subpar and some fans of their older material may be turned off by the percentage of Black Holes and Revelations that gets played and the presence of only one Showbiz song, “Unintended”. The album is a great example of the band’s incredible live show nonetheless, and should be picked up by anyone that’s more than a casual fan.



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user ratings (440)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Oblivioncry
May 21st 2008


601 Comments


good review, having seem them live last year, i can say, they are AWESOME live.

Jim
May 21st 2008


5110 Comments


are these guys seriously considered the "worlds best live band"?

Iai
Emeritus
May 21st 2008


3553 Comments


In the UK, very much so.

HideYourDisguise
May 26th 2008


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'm a massive fan of Muse and they are by all means an amazing band live (I say this from experience), but I think this DVD lacks what makes them great- passion. Their darker materials are instrumentally sound as always, but the key to its delivery is missing- Matt Bellamy may just be too content with his stadium sales to belt them out with the same compulsion. I even found myself beginning to find 'New Born' slightly sludgey as it progressed, and the horrible mixing doesn't help at all.

SHOOTME
May 26th 2008


2393 Comments


This is probably awesome sauce that I should listen to.This Message Edited On 05.26.08

IAmInsect
May 26th 2008


3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i agree with hideyourdisguise. and shootme, what muse have you heard? if none you don't want to start here.

SHOOTME
May 26th 2008


2393 Comments


I've heard Origin Of Symmetry and their most recent album.

Eliminator
May 26th 2008


2067 Comments


cum on my haarp

Altmer
May 26th 2008


5652 Comments


i will eliminate you

IAmInsect
May 27th 2008


3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

who would muse open for?

megalomania
May 28th 2008


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome cd/dvd, they are great live went to see them in melbourne last year, best show ever.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2008


20857 Comments


MEGALOMANIA, I really hope you are talking about their January performance at Festival Hall and not the one later in the year at Rod Laver Arena as I felt the earlier one was quite a bit better. While Muse are now a bonafide huge worldwide band, I still feel that they work better live in a smaller & more intimate setting.
I just purchased HAARP and will view it soon, but from the early comments I am reading here, I get the feeling that my comments above may come into play.
DaveyBoy.

warIsPeace
May 30th 2008


14 Comments


wow, that's quite a setlist

I've gotta check this out

razedtotheground
June 26th 2008


368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

knights of cydonia is so epic live

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Erratic
June 26th 2008


1120 Comments


I need to hear this.

MBS
July 15th 2008


83 Comments


the key change in starlight on this album really irks me for some reason. but other than that, it's pretty solid

StrizzMatik
July 15th 2008


3207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Muse are un-f*cking-believable live, trust me. This is a pretty good translation of that but you need to watch the DVD to get the full effect. The crisp production kinda saps some of the urgency/grit out of some songs, but this is a great live record.

Digging: Lagwagon - Hang

Aeryn
July 15th 2008


10 Comments


Not really mostly new songs, only five of them aren't on any of the other albums.

I haven't heard any of the new songs, and I also haven't seen any live videos. But I love this band. I might actually purchase this. Which is weird, I usually hate live stuff. ..

ninjuice
August 5th 2008


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Whoever said this is the world's best live band needs to see Iron Maiden or MuteMath. Yeah, Muse is fairly energetic live, but I've certainly seen better. It's good, but not awesome. Maybe the DVD doesn't quite capture it or something, idk. I'm guessing that in time I'll like this more.
At least Bellamy sounds about the same as he does on the albums.
Edit: holy cow, Bellamy can play the bridge to "Invincible" on guitar....This Message Edited On 08.05.08

IAmInsect
August 6th 2008


3800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah the heresay is that mutemath rules live too. i haven't seen either band, so if i get the impression that muse shows are insane from watching videos i can't imagine actually being there. and this DVD doesn't really capture it that well in comparion to older videos. idk maybe they were more into it when they played older stuff.



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