red lights


Muse titillates and inspires

The Rave II
Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 14, 2004
Muse Muse

Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

A muse in poetry, song, or the arts is a source of inspiration (in Greek literature a goddess), and the UK band Muse is exactly the former. With a unique mix of styles of music and effects, Muse bounce around the stage and through musical boundaries as if aboard a small ship caught in a storm at sea. There was some calm during this sonic storm at the Rave II, but never for long.
Muse The sound of Muse is both eccentric and intense. The people this band have worked with in the past give a general idea of what they sound like. Start with John Leckie (producer on Radiohead's The Bends, and then add Rich Costey (mixing for Audioslave's self-titled and Rage Against the Machine's Renegades. But, the band's sound does not stop there. Some of the slower tunes they played, like "Interlude" or "Blackout" from Absolution, carry an emo sound that brings to mind the Scottish guitar army that is Mogwai.
Each musician in this three-piece rock odyssey of a band seemed to put everything they had into the music. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard were agressive on the heavy songs, especially "Butterflies and Hurricanes" and precise on the calmer tunes, especially "Ruled By Secrecy." Lead vocalist Matthew Bellamy, switching off between guitar and keyboards throughout the night, performed a sort of Jeckyl and Hyde routine by going from calm to electrified without a moment's notice. The show put on by Muse was refreshing and provided inspiration for new directions in music, but like any good muse of the artistic type, absolution with the muse means the end of its inspiration. Perhaps following this warning that has been alluded to by poets throughout the ages, Muse walked off the stage after a mere hour and fifteen minutes. Playing no encore and a short set is a big risk to take for a band trying to make it in the US, but they made it work-- I want more.

Muse Muse

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