By YONG SHU HOONG
VENUE: Singapore Indoor Stadium
SOMEONE should have reminded us that this was the second edition of the annual Big Night Out. The near-capacity crowd was obviously treating this as the second Singapore gig of headlining band Muse, who last played here in 2007 at Fort Canning Park.
For the Muse fans, the night was a tedious waiting game. With American rock bands Saosin and Rise Against relegated to be opening acts from around 7.30pm, the real buzz commenced only when Muse appeared just after 10pm.
But what a reception! The mix of local and foreign fans needed no prompting to get on their feet cheering and dancing, as the British rockers launched their first song, Uprising, from their latest album, The Resistance (2009).
Backed by bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, drummer Dominic Howard, and touring keyboardist Morgan Nicholls, singer Matthew Bellamy was at ease as rock hero. He worked magic on his electric guitar and often jabbed a fist in the air, as the band belted out rousing tunes like Supermassive Black Hole and Map Of The Problematique, both taken from 2006s Black Holes And Revelations.
Flanked by two projection screens and accompanied by strobes and green laser, Muse played facing a packed free-standing zone, against a video wall displaying dazzling images like an animated sequence of marching robots.
However, the gig felt a little impersonal, with Bellamy keeping conversation to a bare minimum. He preferred to let the music do all the talking, moving swiftly from track to track in a repertoire culled mostly from The Resistance.
Aside from new songs like Unnatural Selection and Undisclosed Desires, there were also representations from other albums in the form of hits like Sunburn, Starlight and Time Is Running Out.
While Bellamys dramatic falsetto was a key attraction, he also impressed with dexterous tinkling of piano keys and some wicked-sounding guitar solos.
By the time the performance ended at 11.40pm, after an encore consisting of the orchestral prog-rock track Exogenesis: Symphony Part I (Overture), and hits Plug In Baby and Knights Of Cydonia, it was clear the fans got what they came for.
But, perhaps, with no disrespect to the other two bands, what was on almost everyone's mind was this: "Wouldn't it have been better if Muse could have started earlier and played more?"
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