I wouldn’t want to see the electric bill this month at Amway Center.
First, it was P!nk and her extravagant light-show and trapeze act, uh, concert.
Roughly 24 hours later, British progressive rock band Muse unleashed its over-the-top vision of arena excess in 1 hour and 45 minutes of weighty sensory overload on Monday at Amway.
While pop stars accompany their explosions with breezy songs that often require steroid treatments of bass and drums in cavernous halls, Muse comes equipped with epic anthems that don’t need to be super-sized at all.
Beneath a pyramid of video screens and surrounded by a semi-circular wall of more of them, Muse took the stage to deliver “Supremacy.” That densely melodic song, anchored by hypnotic rhythms, was a surprisingly somber opener.
It didn’t take long, however, for the band to shift into a higher gear for a propulsive “Map of the Problematique” and the funk-flavored “Supermassive Black Hole.” All of it was embellished by lasers, roving spotlights and imaginative images that swirled around the band.
The grand, yet often cerebral style of singer-guitarist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard has garnered comparisons to everyone from Queen to Radiohead. On Monday, the band wore some of influences on its sleeve.
At one point, Bellamy channeled Jimi Hendrix with a solo, electric guitar version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” And the band’s most obvious – and appealing –nod to Queen was offered in the combination of soaring harmonies and guitar bombast in “Knights of Cydonia.”
Opening act Dead Sara didn’t reach for Muse’s sonic excesses. Instead, the Los Angeles band showcased a grittier blend of guitar-powered rock.
Lead singer Emily Armstrong’s wailing dovetailed nicely with guitarist Siouxsie Medley’s slashing style on “Weatherman” and “Face to Face,” although the band never took command of a less-than-capacity crowd that didn’t require opening the upper bowl.
Muse had better luck. Although the band offered a few lovely understated moments, such as the lush piano-powered “Explorers,” the main attraction was the massive wall of sound that powered “The United States of Eurasia,” “Follow Me,” “The 2nd Order: Unsustainable,” “Uprising” and pretty much everything else.
For Muse, big is a size that always seems to work.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun