Well, a couple of questions may come to mind before we get started. What is prog rock and who are Muse? Are (British Rockers) M– USE prog rock (progressive rock)? (or) do they come under the category of an “arena rock” or “anthem rock” band? These details seem to be hot topics of debate on blog sites like Prog Archives.com
These sites are dedicated to progressive rock (more on this later) and tout subtitles like “Your Ultimate Prog Rock Resource”. Speaking of which, Famous Rock Posters.com (this site) is dedicated to artists of all kinds. Music, poster art, commercial art, fine art, graphic art, and literature are all represented here, just to clarify any question of relevance.
Anyway, back to the M– USE prog rock show we attended Wednesday night September 4, 2013. It took place @ The Arena at Gwinnett Center-Duluth, Ga. (Metro Atlanta). My wife and I have attended four concerts there , so far. This arena opened in 2003, so it is relatively new (as far as venues go). It actually does feel very new and well maintained. It was well staffed, plenty of options for adult refreshments and clean rest rooms.
Lets get to the acoustics of the venue. We got floor tickets (again) because the sound was so good from the last concert we attended there. This Muse concert was no exception. Bass would be thumping your chest but, you were still able to speak and hear over pretty loud volumes. That goes to a great mix and sound crew.
I was going to start this article with that quote from Mr. T..”I pity the fool that missed this concert” but, I guess it works just as well here. Yes, it was one of those. It was phenomenal. I said (more than a few times) it felt like I was being transcended into another cosmos. Literally a bombastic, beautiful, wonderful, and colorful assault on all of the senses. Goosebumps, much of the time.
Now I may be a little bias here ( because I am a fan) but, this was such an experience I could only equate it to the 1960s Fillmore and Avalon Ballroom concerts we have discussed here many times. The concentration on sound and lights was intense. There was a huge folding cube of LED screens ascending from the ceiling (see attached picture) being fed all kinds of data and live feed.. Also, there was a laser light show like I’ve never witnessed in my life.
All of that along with the perfection, power and force of Muse’s musical performance was just about too much. Had us dancing, on our toes, and applauding for more. They also graced us with an encore, which was great as well. Sound like a rock show? It will go in the books as was one of the best!
Are Muse Prog Rock?
After reading and hearing different view points today, I would have to say its ultimately up to the listener. Progressive rock (prog rock) is usually a fusion between rock and jazz or classical music. (e.g. Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Rush, King Crimson). I personally hear a definite “progressive rock” element in M– USE compositions. Most in this debate would agree with that, I believe. My wife likes the “anthem rock” aspect of Muse very much (e.g. “Uprising”). Anthem songs bring strong clear message usually sung in solidarity. Other examples of anthem rock bands includes (the biggie) Queen (e.g. We Will Rock You), David Bowie, T. Rex, and Mott The Hoople, etc.
So, depending on your taste you may not call this a Muse Prog Rock show, it could be titled “Muse’s Arena Rock Show in Atlanta” or “Arena Rock Band Muse Plays Atlanta” or something totally different. It’s just what it is to me.