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My 6th time seeing Muse was in Berlin!

Okay, so the main reason I visited Berlin was because the band Muse were playing in the city on the European leg of their Simulation Theory Tour. And because I have never visited Germany prior to this I thought I would tick two things off the list at once. See Berlin, and see Muse perform on this current tour.

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It was a beautiful evening in Berlin, the rain held off and getting to the Mercedes-Benz Arena was pretty simple. What helped was seeing it on route from the airport, knowing it was in easy reach.

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Knowing the hassle of lining for food during live events I opted to grab a beer and a burger outside. Enough to see me through the evening, support act and all. I watched through the restaurants windows as the queue shortened, and waited for the best time to enter. After all I knew the majority of people would be seated, and that getting to the front isn’t all that difficult with enough dedication.

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Getting in before the support act started meant that only those that truly want to be at the front would be there already. However I am sure many had the same idea as me and would kind of just analyse the situation before making a fairly late surge to the front, after all by staying at the very front from the moment you enter the arena you sacrifice two things. One, precious beer time. There were guys walking around with beer backpacks however they would struggle to reach anyone too far down. And secondly, toilet breaks. From my experience at the front, if you ever wonder why people near the barriers seemingly want to throw a whole pint of beer away unnecessarily as it sprays onto those in the projectiles path, it probably isn’t beer. It’s just easier if you pretend it is.

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My dilemma was that I wanted beers, it helps me relax when surrounded by thousands of sweaty people and zero personal space. So I kept an eye on how crowded it was getting at the front, and how hard it would be to get there later on. I bought a Muse cup from those ghostbuster-looking beer guys, knowing that I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep hold of it all night.

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And as the support act came on, Des Rocs, I contemplated when would be the best time for a toilet break. I overheard that Muse were coming on around 8.45pm, and as the crowd wasn’t too packed to squeeze through I decided to predict when the support would be finishing up and made a break for it.

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Losing a lot of ground… and hoping to make it up again

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I got back when it started to totally fill. And I was in good position. Now I want to let you know that since I have been back I have seen Muse TWICE! Once in Berlin and then London. So I decided to get lots of footage of this gig and just enjoy the London one. Also during the London gig Matt announced that they were filming it for a movie next year, even more reason to put the phone away.

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For those that don’t really know this band, their latest album is called Simulation Theory. The band tend to do a rock album, a more experimental one and then back to a more basic rock album. This is the more experimental one, heavily influenced by 80’s music and styles. The artwork and video’s are evidence of this also. The last album tour was for Drones, the heavier style with the band pretty much wearing all black and having an excuse to play some of their heavier songs not played for a while. This tour is a lot more colourful, catchier for the neutral but still managing to get some of their heaviest stuff in there.

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Muse dancers on stage with the band

The setlist was as follows:

  • Algorithm
  • Pressure
  • Psycho
  • Break It to Me (my favourite song on the new album)
  • Uprising
  • Propaganda
  • Plug In Baby
  • Pray (High Valyrian)
  • The Dark Side
  • Supermassive Black Hole
  • Thought Contagion
  • Interlude
  • Hysteria
  • The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
  • Dig Down
  • Madness
  • Mercy
  • Time Is Running Out
  • Houston Jam
  • Take a Bow
  • Starlight
  • Encore:
  • Algorithm
  • Stockholm Syndrome / Assassin / Reapers / The Handler / New Born
  • Knights of Cydonia

It is almost impossible for me to choose a favourite song, I have a few that are contenders. However the main reason for deciding to see this tour was the ‘Metal Medley’ of Stockholm Syndrome / Assassin / Reapers / The Handler / New Born. Instead of playing all of these songs in their entirety, they played a shortened version of each lasting a total of roughly 15 minutes. Stockholm Syndrome and New Born are two of my favourite songs of all time, so having them shortened was at first a little disappointing, however seeing what they have done with it looked incredible in fan footage from earlier stops on the tour.

I cannot wait to introduce you to Murph…

But firstly, a little footage from Psycho.

This song was made made from a riff they have been playing live since 99′. Pretty incredible that it was only a riff until 2015! It was originally dubbed the ‘0305030’ riff as these are the tabs to play it on guitar.

And as I mentioned, Break it to Me is my favourite from the new album. It’s grungy sound mixed with eastern melodies and a cool sounding solo works really well. Not to mention Matt’s amazing vocals.

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More dancers, dressed in Hazmat suits

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Now below is another new song that I love. It was written by Matt Bellamy for Game of Thrones. It really feels like it was made for the GoT world, a great piece of music. I would highly recommend listening to ‘Pray‘ in it’s entirety.

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And in my opinion, one of greatest basslines ever written. Chris is one hell of a bass player!!

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Madness, a song that really grew on me. I love the passion in his voice during the song and how his glasses bring up the lyrics as he is singing them.

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That voice!!

And below, Mercy seems to be their favourite song for firing confetti cannons into the crowd and creating one of the biggest spectacles of the show. Matt decided to sing on his knees with a German flag over his head.

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Take a Bow. I remember listening to this song for the first time in 2006 like it was yesterday. I had my chunky white mp3 player and a newly downloaded Muse song from the album which really did get experimental. I remember hearing this opening song and the rest of the album and thinking ‘this is Muse?!’ but in the best way possible. You would probably have to listen to the whole track to hear how unique it is. No chorus, no verse, but a gradual build up into rock, electronic epicness. ‘Death, you bring death’ as you can hear is aimed towards politicians about a certain war.

And another huge crowd pleaser.

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This stage set up was probably one of my favourites of all the times I have seen them live. Lots of action, lots of colour from Matt’s special glasses to his illuminated jacket to the vampires spreading contagious thoughts. Thought Contagion is a song that is influenced by American politics and media right now (he spends a lot of time in the USA with his family as his wife is American and he has a place in LA) seeing how thoughts can be spread like a virus and the problems that can bring.

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Can you spot the monster in the darkness?

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There’s always time for video games..

And now, to the part I had been waiting for. The start of the metal medley that I watched in earlier gigs and thought ‘holy sh*t, I need to see this live’.

The opening riff to Stockholm Syndrome and the slow emergence of Murph the Robot truly gave me goosebumps and was a damn impressive sight.

What a moment! Towering above the band, only matched by their incredible sound. Muse truly know how to put on a show and this is evidence as to why they are considered one of the greatest live bands of all time.

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Dom killing it on the drums during Assassin, with Murph truly coming to life.

The detail used in his construction is amazing. From the screws as eyes to the details on his back (seen in footage from those in seats slightly behind him) means a lot of credit has to go to the company that created him for the show.

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The solo during New Born, the very first song I heard from them back in 2003. I was at a friends house playing Risk the board game and this came on Kerrang Radio. I am still not bored of it to this day and would love to know the actual number of times I have listened to it since then.

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Matt being that teasing older sibling to poor Murph…

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Fun fact: Matt Bellamy made it into the Guinness World Records for the most guitars smashed on a single tour. In 2004 he smashed a total of 140.

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And there goes another one..

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And with that, another gig. My 6th, and I would be surprised if I didn’t make it to at least ten in the next few years. Heck it would be in the hundreds by now if I was financially capable, but seeing how the tours have evolved and how the band has progressed in general has been amazing. I am luckier than some to see the amount of live gigs that I have, and they are always a magical experience, whoever you go to see.

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I hope you enjoyed the post from the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Did you have a favourite shot or even song that you like by them?  Let me know as I am always delighted to meet fellow Musers!

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But even in general, it is just nice to be able to share what and who I love with you all, and learning about what you love in return. We all have inspirations and these guys are mine. Thank you for reading, and I will see you all from London!

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27 replies »

      • I can imagine, but its gotten to the point now where a large venue is not for me, even if I could get out of town for it. Bathrooms pretty much need to be within arm’s reach, & I don’t walk that well to make a run for it. My husband is not into music, so I’d have to go alone or find someone else, none of which will happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s certainly not fun when you have to make a break for it. And small venues are great too, Muse have done a couple of smaller venues recently and the atmosphere looked amazing!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree, if it isn’t done right it ruins everything!

      Thank you for the kind words, if you are referring to my posts not usually being an interesting read I am sorry as I rely heavily on photos haha. I worry I will talk to much and often keep it short 😀

      Like

  1. WOW! This was a stunning blog post and that’s coming from someone who has been to her fair share of rock concerts over the years (never counted but I know it would number over 10 and that’s just rock ones, not the country ones I’ve been to). I really felt like I was there through your description and pics/videos. I feel like I’ve only ever vaguely heard of Muse (are the big in the US? if so maybe they’re not played on our radios much?) but I like their sound. That robot emerging has to be the wildest things I’ve ever seen pulled off! I saw Disturbed in 2010 and they did a similar bit of playing pieces of several songs strung into one and had video for each and it was really cool, they’re the only band I’ve seen who did that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tracy! Muse are interesting in terms of their fame… They all seem very reserved and don’t tend to make headlines for the wrong reasons, and I still feel despite them selling out stadiums they could still walk down the street and not get recognised that much. It took awhile for them to crack the US, I would say around 2007ish was when they really hit if off over there. It’s fascinating how it can vary in different countries!

      However they do well to not let fame get the better of them and I feel this has helped them get the best of both worlds… be world famous yet be able to live normal lives without being hounded by the media!

      Interesting to know that about Disturbed… nice to hear of another band doing a similar thing. I have heard ‘Down with the Sickness’ by them, which I find an incredibly catchy and heavy riff, but not much else. I will have to give them more of a listen!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m Tracy, Nicole is my middle name. Down with the Sickness is one of the most popular Disturbed songs. They really changed up things when they put out a remake of Sound of Silence if you want to hear something good but very different from them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay good I just wanted to check. And I have heard that cover also! I just didn’t know the cover was by them, probably for the reasons you mentioned. I am going to listen to it now, a great one.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just realized this morning that I do know some of Muse’s music because I put them on Spotify and I’ve heard “Uprising” multiple times, just never knew the artist! I think I need to start listening to their lyrics more in depth though because it sounds like they have some really good messages.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uprising is a great song! A lot of their lyrics tend to be about politics, conspiracies and other interesting topics. They aren’t all about love like so many others as you can tell from Uprising! However their songs about love and heartbreaks are good too 🙂

      Like

  3. Looks like a great show. I’d love to see them live some time, I’ve got some of the older albums such as Absolution which I think was the one that got me in to the band. Hopefully you’ll get to double figures seeing them soon enough 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolution is such a good album, glad you like it! I hope you seen them, it is always an amazing gig that you won’t be able to forget. I am sure I will see them again in no time haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You said it Sam, Muse really know how to put on a show! At our Toronto gig, they had the Ohio band Walk The Moon opening (and they actually won quite a few new fans that night, which I think has to be the best part of opening for a band!)
    In spite of being a little nervous in a space with so many people, when the gig really kicks off, it just becomes so natural to mosh with everyone! I love how versatile they are on stage! The setlist at Toronto started off the same, it’s incredible how they switch from the sci-fi, ultra-cool Algorithm to the more rock and roll, riff-heavy Psycho and Pressure so effortlessly! The moment you see Matt rising to the stage with his laser glove has got to be one of the coolest opening moments any band has ever created, and it’s not one to forget too easily!
    We got Dig Down’s acoustic gospel version, and having the band in the centre of the stage, so close to the audience, with the whole band together and the flashlights out is a real moment that brings the whole crowd together.

    It’s amazing that you guys got New Born! It wasn’t on our setlist, although it would’ve fit nicely into the metal medley, don’t you think? We did get Plug In Baby, and I’ve been playing that song for years now, so to really see the ones who wrote the song playing it was a proper surreal moment!

    I really enjoyed the pictures and the videos, it was almost like attending another Muse concert! You got a really good view even with the moshing going around the pit! Great post, I hope we both get to attend a lot more of their gigs in the next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved it! Pleased you did too Matt. it is always nice to see that different bands support on different stages of the tour as well, a good mix and chance for a few to get more exposure.

      Plus you did get New Born! As far as I am aware, the Metal Medley hasn’t changed on the tour, the only main difference was in Buenos Aires they couldn’t play it due to an incoming storm so they brought Murph the Robot out during Knights of Cydonia. New Born is cut down a lot though, piano into and opening riff- solo- last chorus and closing riff. Blink and you will miss it! I checked the setlist on setlistfm, Scotiabank Arena right?

      So happy that you got to see Plug in Baby played live, a true classic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah, it is on the Metal Medley, you’re right! New Born’s such a good song though, it’s a shame they don’t play the whole song anymore. I can understand it might be hard to go running from the piano to the guitar mid-song though, assuming the piano stays where it did for Dig Down.
        You’re right, Scotiabank Arena! It was renamed from the Air Canada Centre a few years ago, so I try to imagine artists getting befuddled by the fact that they’d thought they’d be playing a stage they hadn’t played before but to turn up in the same venue! Muse played a different venue last time though. I wish they played deeper cuts in North America though! If not though, I’d love to travel and see them sometime, that’ll be something!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, love New Born. It may be my favourite but it is so hard to choose. And arenas have a habit of doing that don’t they? I think it is probably more confusing for the fans used to their local arena with a certain name, bands play so many arenas they probably can’t remember anyways! Haha

        They have a couple of times played gigs with a setlist chosen by fans, you may have seen already. I hope they do a couple more!

        Like

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