By Veronica Pastore
We were a little late, as is my custom, so I grabbed Alexis’ hand and told her to stay close. With a stream of exceedingly polite “excuse me”s, we two slight girls slunk through a deep crowd in the VIP “floor” section, ultimately nestling into the pit about six feet from the stage just as the opening band finished their last unremarkable song.
Muse, the operatic British rock band known for hits like Madness and Resistance started their show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum last Saturday shortly thereafter, and from the symphony-meets-dubstep opening to the wicked guitar riffs of “Supremacy,” the trio rocked and didn’t stop. They performed all my favorite songs atop an ever-transforming stage of screens that shifted the setting from outer space to the stock exchange while the band shrieked and sung and slammed.
Lead singer Matthew Bellamy was predictably handsome with appropriately mussed hair and a jacket that was just the right amount of sparkly for a dude who plays wicked guitar riffs and sings in an insane seven-octave register. During and between the songs, we got to enjoy Bellamy playing his guitar upside down behind his back, leading us in giant overhead claps and, of course, the good old fashioned rock star strut.
The crowd sang along and pumped fists at apocalyptic lyrics and love songs alike, and Muse, clearly consummate musicians, never missed a note in the dramatic and challenging scores, enthralling us from start to finish.
After the last song but before the encore, the darkened auditorium started to light up with concertgoers activating the flashlight app on their smartphones — this millennium’s version of the lighter in the air. The whole place was soon glowing, and Muse came back out and performed Starlight (my personal fave) followed by Survival, ending with six giant sprays of fog, and one final long blast, obscuring the band from view prior to their final bow. Totally epic, and also refreshing — it’d gotten pretty warm down there in the pit.
And here are the highlights on Lightt, a flipbook-style app (no sound):