Tuesday, August 7, 2007

NEW PHOTOS & VIDEO: Muse & Cold War Kids at Madison Square Garden 8/6/07

Live music lovers fall into two buckets: Those who have seen Muse play live and those
who haven't. My still-buzzing ears are proof positive that I'm finally a "have," leaving the
"have-nots" to wonder what the heck all the noise is about. And let me tell you, that's one
noisy live show.

Muse @ Madison Square Garden 080607565

Muse are epic.

The "have-nots" may shrug, left cold by a 3-word recap that couldn't possibly do justice
to any live show. The "haves" will nod knowingly, agreeing that it simply does say it all.
But in an attempt to turn the "have-nots" into "haves," I feel honor-bound to expound a
wee bit more on the experience that is seeing Muse live.

See all 9 videos from the show!

Muse are Queen-meets-Radiohead. Imagine the over-the-top theatricality and
pitch-perfect attack of Freddie Mercury's vocal style, and add to that the multi-layered
orchestrations and song structure of Radiohead, plus the front-man's striking physical
resemblance to Thom Yorke's physique. As a good pal pointed out, you don't really get
the full picture until you throw in a heaping spoonful of Poison-esque arena rock for
bombast, flambuoyance, expensive effects, and the requisite squealing guitar solo.

Muse @ Madison Square Garden 080607579

If that description strikes you as too "surface," allow me to underscore that Muse are the
real thing. Their songwriting and their performance is evidence of a deep talent shared by
all three of the Brits who bring the high concept that is Muse to life. They're one of the
few bands I've witnessed who can turn jaded, hipper-than-thou Williamsburgers into
squealing teenagers vociferously expressing Beatlemania-esque adulation.

Muse @Madison Square Garden 080607541

Did I mention how loud the show was? Criminy! Well, what can you do -- that's arena
rock. And in Muse's case, it's arena rock at its best.

See the full gallery of photos from the show!

Meanwhile, don't leave the opening band out in the cold. The Cold War Kids are one of
my favorite bands to see live. Though they may not be superstars from some damp island
across the pond, they have a powerful onstage presence that is borne of improvisational
prowess, creative originality in songwriting, and to put it plainly, a deep understanding of
how to play their instruments. 

Muse @ Madison Square Garden 080607010

From playing the Bowery to Madison Square Garden in one leap? And I don't mean the
Theatre at MSG, either. I'm talking the big house! That's the leap I witnessed them make
last night, after having seen their last NY show at the Bowery Ballroom. I hope their luck
lingers long enough to bear fruit, as touring with Muse is exposing them to millions of fans
who understand the value of music that boasts more than just a compelling hook.

I'll be at peace as long as I know the Cold War Kids will be back playing NY again soon.

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