Yesterday I was at the great San Siro stadium to watch Muse live. Home to AC Milan and FC Internazionale, San Siro (or Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as called by Inter fans) is the 8th biggest stadium in Europe and the biggest in Italy with 80,074 seats. Taking into account one third of the seats cancelled and the addition of the pitch the stadiums concert capacity was about 60 thousand. Before the concert the rumours were that there will be 55 thousand and today La Repubblica wrote it was 60 thousand. My approximate head count was about 65 thousand so let’s say 60 (±5) thousand. I think this is as big as it gets and it was clearly the most spectacular concert of my entire life.
Italy is quite a special place for Muse as Matt’s ex fiancé is Italian and he has a house in Como (yeah we’re neighbours he came to ask for some sugar the other day) and most young Italians love them. He also speaks some Italian I guess because his pronunciation of the word “grazie” was pretty good (I’ve heard much worse). The evening started fairly well as I entered the stadium at 5 pm (for a concert that starts at 9) and found a good seat. The girl at my back was dedicatedly kicking my back with her white converse shoes. I turned back and threw her a few what-the-fuck!? looks but she was with her boyfriend and he had the higher ground (star wars episode 3 reference). Soon the supporting acts started with Calibro 35 (locals) and continued with Friendly Fires and Kasabian. The sound during this acts were awful as we were in the second ring and there were tiny speakers pointed towards us. The stadium was clearly not designed to host a Muse concert so the acoustic was pretty bad. I couldn’t buy a field ticket because they were sold lightning-fast and I was left with this one. No trebles or guitars were audible we were just hearing some bass and somewhat mids. I didn’t thought that would be such a problem because I personally think half of Muse’s music consists of Chris and his bass. Then there was a soundcheck before Muse and the trebles got a little bit better.
I personally don’t think there is much to say about Muse’s performance. They were epic as always, the setlist consisted of 24 songs (with 2 encores), 8 more than what they played at Rock am Ring two days ago. The songs were mostly from The Resistance and Black Holes and Revelations. They played “New Born” and “Plug in Baby” from Origin of Symmetry and “Unintended” was the only song from their debut album Showbiz. While there is a controversy among the fans about The Resistance and especially “Undisclosed Desires”, it was the peak moment of the concert. They stepped on to a moving stage, which goes in to the crowd and ascends to provide better visibility for people in higher levels. I thought the stadium was about to collapse, all the girls were shouting and singing even if they didn’t know the lyrics. I think we might see this concert as a DVD in a near future as their performance was almost flawless, the crowd was perfect and the stage animations were perfect.
A surprising moment about the concert for me was when Dom invited Nic Cester, frontman of the Australian band “Jet” to the stage. The Australian sang one of my favourite songs “Back in Black” of the AC/DC which is also a great coincidence to my previous post. Matt showed once more what he could do with his guitar when he was not singing and his “Angus Young” performance was perfect in every aspect including the famous “Duck Walk” but he didn't wear shorts. The song sounded so good and I was pretty shocked how they could manage it with just one guitar where AC/DC plays it with two. After the concert a friend who was watching from the field told me there was another guitar. This was always a discussion about Matt. No one judges his skills with vocals, piano/synth and guitar on the recording basis but when it comes to live performance he is just limited by the human nature. Most of the time people talk about rumours that he uses a backstage guitarist. Although I personally don’t believe the backstage guitarist thing, on some songs there was a fourth musician on the stage to help them with the keyboards.
At the end Muse pulled off a perfect performance at the San Siro. It is not easy to play in a venue like this. When you look at the back you see that only major bands and artists like U2, Robbie Williams, Bruce Springsteen and some local rock legends like Ligabue and Vasco Rossi filled this incredible stadium and now Muse is just one of them. I think this is as big as a band gets, they have already registered their names to the British Rock Music History. Some people think their last two albums are no way near as the first three but the most accompanied songs were also from these two albums. Most people didn’t even notice the songs from the previous albums. Muse now has a younger and wider crowd and it looks like they’re having lots of fun.