Muse and Silversun Pickups Concert

Well, it’s 1:30, cold, windy. Doors don’t open for another 4.5 hours. There’s a girl in the group 2 down from me who knows *a lot* about the band. It’s always interesting to see the types of people who show up to a show.

I wonder how many people here even know who Silversun Pickups are. No one is talking about them.

There’s a guy walking around with a guitar. Haven’t heard him play it yet. Maybe he’s hoping to get it signed. That’d be pretty cool.

My wife took off about an hour and a half a go to find a blanket. Poor girl gets so cold so easily. It’d be nice if it were mid-June instead of April 5th.

7 minutes until the doors open. Let the mad rush begin.


These are some friends of ours.

Here are some pics of the crowd.

If you see yourself in the pic, feel free to point it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

On to the reviews.


One word: damn.

I’ve seen some intense guitar playing before. Brian played out of his mind. Literally.ย  He looked like an acid trip on Gord Downie. Yes, you read that right. How he managed to keep his balance and not fall over is beyond me, but he did it.

As my wife put it, by the end of their relatively short set, Chris looked like he needed a break and a lot of water. As anyone who’s previously seen a SSPU show, this is no doubt due to the fact that he plays a very bombastic style of drumming. And he totally owns the kit.

The set list was mostly off of “Swoon.” No surprise there. Being that it’s their new CD and has been out for less than a year, I would suspect that they’d tour on the strength of the new offering. They opened the set with “Growing Old Is Getting Old.” They also played “There’s No Secrets This Year,” “Substitution,” “Future Foe Scenarios,” and “Lazy Eye.” I know I’m missing a couple, but those are the ones I remember.

It’s always great to see a crowd get into the opening band. A lot of the front row kept yelling, “WE LOVE YOU NIKKI!” Not a surprise. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was great to have the chance to check them out.


Two words: HOLY DAMN.

We were all taunted for a couple of minutes with the opening sequence video (displayed on what looked like 5-story square towers) ofย  of several sets of white shadows traipsing up some stairs. One shadow on each towers started to fall, after which the curtain that obfuscating the true intention of the towers fell around the band members, standing on elevated platforms.

Opening with the anthemic “Uprising” as was so highly anticipated, Matt came out in some futuristic silver suit with glow in the dark blue shades. The crowd went absolutely nuts. Being that we were about 3 rows from the front, right in front of Matt, we were quickly swept up in “the pit,” swaying back and forth on tidal waves of humanity and adrenaline. If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last 7 months, you know the chorus: “They will not force us; they will stop degrading us. They will not control us; WE will be victorious!” Singing for all the world to hear, Bellamy belted out the lyrics while Dom smashed his drum kit into oblivion and Chris threw his back out of alignment with his unparalleled head whipping and thick, fat, grueling bass playing. I swear, that guy must have a chiropractor on retainer.

“Uprising” led to “Resistance,” the second single off the new CD. More from the platform. More psychotica from the pit. Let the mayhem ensue.

No rest for the weary. Muse treated us to “New Born,” the first track on Origin of Symmetry. One of my all-time favorites. At the end, they jumped into the middle/end part of “Micro Cuts”–another favorite of mine.

You can’t go to a Muse show and not hope to hear “Hysteria.” Tonight’s show was no let-down. The *only* disappointing factor to the song was the fact that my iphone picked up basically nothing but screaming and sound-popping, with few discernible notes in between. I was really hoping to get a better recording for my girls, who absolutely love singing along whenever they hear it. “I WANT IT NOW! GIVE ME …. YOUR SOUL!!” So frickin’ awesome watching them dance to that. Ha ha!

Dom and Chris jammed out while the crew set up Matt’s piano for “United States of Eurasia” and “Feeling Good,” with the “Take a Bow” intro thrown in before the latter as a teaser.

Far and away, my favorite of the night was “Undisclosed Desires.” Matt played his key-tar, and the lighting was unbelievable. All decked out in purples, blues and reds, when the chorus started, and the keyboard bass threw us all back about 10 feet.

The rest of the set was all too short. “Starlight,” “Unnatural Selection,” “Time is Running Out,” and “Plug In Baby” rounded out the main set. After the requisite lights-out screaming and demanding more, the band came back out and played part I of Exogenesis. My wife and sister in law were in utter awe. Well, okay … we all were. In the words of my wife, “I could sleep to this.” For those not familiar, Matt pulled out ALL the stops on this one. The orchestration is haunting, melancholy and beautiful, like the soundtrack to the death of a mother whose lived a full and rich life, leaving no regrets. That’s just my take. ๐Ÿ™‚

It would be cruel and unusual not to play “Stockholm Syndrome.” There’s WAY too much energy in that song not to play it live. It’s a must. The band was as tight as they’ve ever been, ripping their way through the crowd-moving intro. I love the chorus to this song. It’s so un-nerving. “This is the last time I’ll abandon you, and this is the last time I’ll forget you. I wish I could …”

To end the show, the band played “Knights of Cydonia”–another anthem of freedom and the will to live life. “No one’s going to take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive.” The crowd jumped and swayed as if we were back in 2007, when Muse opened with KoC.

Everyone left everything on the floor, in the stands, on the stage … there was not one person who didn’t give everything they had to offer for that show. With the exception of the girl who sat next to my sisters-in-law, who saw fit to sit through the entire show, arms folded. I’m not one to judge anyone for anything, so I will assume that she wasn’t feeling well and really just wanted to see the band. Who knows. I hope she’s okay–either emotionally or physically.

Everyone else had 0 left to give, but if the set had gone on another 2, 3 … 5 songs, we would have found the energy somewhere. That’s what you do at Muse shows.

In summary, both bands were unbelievably amazing, gracious, un-humanly intense. The crowd reciprocated the intensity in its own way–jumping up and down, creating tsunamis of human proportions … you could not have asked for a more energetic crowd. I even forgive the 6′ 5″ jerks who bragged about not having GA tix and got on the floor anyway, only to cut off my wife’s view with their selfishness.

If you haven’t seen Muse or SSUP yet, make it your concert-going priority. You can’t go through life wondering what it’s like and not know first-hand. Your musical life will not be complete.

As promised, here are some of the pics.

Muse/Silversun Pickups Concert Day

First off, sorry for the hiatus. I took the fam on an impromptu mini-vacation to St. George, UT for some R&R. We went “hiking” in Zions National Park on Saturday. With two little girls in tow, it’s hard to actually do REAL hiking, but they loved seeing all the cliffs and dirt, so it was fun for them walking around. Checked out Weeping Rock and the entrance to the narrows … nothing really strenuou. Definitely decided that we’re going to try to hike “the narrows” one of these days.

Now on to today. Muse and Silversun Pickups. I’m serious … this should be a double bill – not SsP opening for Muse. I guess they’re not “up there” yet. They will be though. They have the potential to go very, very far.

So my agenda for the day is like this:

11:00 am – drop off the girls at friends’ house.

12:00 pm – get to E-Center and see what there is to see

3:00 pm – dinner with friends at Applebees (gotta carb and protein up for the show)

4:00 – get in line for the show

6:00 – doors open, and so begins the mad dash for front row floor

7:00 – Silversun Pickups hit the stage

8:30-ish – Muse

I’m bringing my camera with a fresh set of lithium batteries, just in case I can sneak it in. I have my methods, which I won’t divulge here for obvious reasons.

I’ve checked out Muse’s setlist from previous shows. Nothing really stand-outish in the states, but in Asia, they’ve played “Dead Star” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” (cover, but really well done).

Okay, there is much for which I need to prepare, so more from the show!

Utah Music Scene

Hey, so … if you live in Utah and want to know what’s going on with the latest concert information, this Facebook page is pretty good about getting out the info. Lots of amazing bands coming in the next month. Granted, it covers mostly Orem/Provo area, but they sometimes wander north of the Happy Valley border and touch upon the SLC/Davis/Weber county scene as well.

Local venues:

In the Venue

The Depot

The State Room

Murray Theater

Kilby Court (Appleseed Cast TOMORROW!!)

I’ll add to this as I remember or find other venues.

Barenaked in the SLC

I’ve actually lost count of how many Ladies’ shows I’ve seen. Gotta remember …

1. September 1999
2. October 2000
3. February 2002
4. November 2006

I have to believe that there was a show between 2002 and 2006, but I’m not positive. i’ll have to consult my stubs.

I do remember this about each and every show: they all ruled with the highest auhority given to bands. their crowd interaction and energy are unparalleled, even by the likes of Muse, who seemingly have boundless energy. I highly suspect that tonight’s show will be at least 100%.

well, okay … maybe only 80%, but that is only due to the absence of Steven Page–one of the founding members if the band. I’m sure the rest of the band will give 100%. They always do.

So now I’m in the venue. pretty nice place. supposedly, they have pizza and chips upstairs, bit we can’t get upstairs yet. My wife is stuck in traffic somewhere. She won’t be here for about an hour.

BNL. I can’t say enough good things about them. they’re fun. they love their fans. they enjoy being with their fans. they’re not narcissistic ingrate; they know who propelled them into the limelight, and they show their gratitude through their shows.

Tonight, I even brought my camera. Totally laid back policy. Pics are good and blessed; vids are not. And that’s totally understandable.

The bar tender here is talking music with me. She likes a lot of indie hippie type stuff. Here’s the list:

  • G Love and the Special Sauce (“sloppy jazz,” sounds kind of like a mix of Sublime and Bob Marley)
  • Missy Higgins
  • Michael Fronti
  • Keb Mo
  • Taj Mahal Trio
  • Xavier Rudd
  • Spearhead
  • Jay Nash, “A Stream up North”

I’m always on the search for new music.

These are some of the people ahead of us in line.

As one person stated earlier, BNL crowds are all about the fun. That’s so true. Most everyone gets along, there aren’t a lot of rude people … it’s always a really laid back atmosphere.

These are some of the people behind us.

WE ARE IN! I am flat-out in lov with this place. it’s tiny, it’s intimate, and it looks amazing. Lori and I have a table 15 feet from the stage and 20 fro
where the band will be. TINY.

This was taken from the very back of the floor. See how close everything is?

this is the view from our table. I can’t believe how close we are.

apparently, “hang our coats” is chick chat for “steal the seats in front of you and totally obliterate your view.”

Lori nailed it: this place is totally like The House of Blues in Vegas.

So this is Kevin Griffen, the lead singer from Better than Ezra.

Guy is mellow and cool. Great stage presence. Didn’t know this, but he wrote “You and I collide,” or whatever that song is called. He did a duet of “Silent Night” with Megan Joy – a SLC local.

Shout-out to Michelle and Stori. We chatted with them some of the night. Excellent convo, new friends! Their picture is below.

BNL’s new material is frickin’ awesome. I can’t wait to get their new CD in March.

During the song “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen,” Ed said, “Ladies and gentlemen, a very special Christmas gift just for you, Salt lake, will you please welcome our good friend, Sarah McLachlan, to the stage?” We all went berserk. And I do mean EVERYone. Then Ed just grinned. “Ha ha. Just kidding.” Good one, Ed. Good one. I don’t think I’ve ever been that suckered at a show.

There’s some drunk idiot behind is who keeps yelling negative stuff about the new stuff. it’s getting annoying. “I’ll whistle when they play something I know.” Direct quote. Sad.

Well, now we’re home. The show was amazing. Like I said, they played some new stuff that sounded really good. The new CD in March should be extremely well written and played. I like that everyone will probably have a contributing hand in it. Why shouldn’t they? Jim, Tyler and Kevin are all talented musicians. They SHOULD have a bigger role. I always liked BNL’s stuff when Steve was with the band, but it just seemed like he was kind of taking over. He’s good–no arguments there … but when you have a band of 5, and 2 contribute on a routine basis, it gets kind of … I don’t know. I hesitate to use the word “stale,” but truthfully, the last 2 CDs were kind of just that.

I really enjoyed getting to see Jim walk around stage. No upright bass for this show–just Jim and his 4-string slung over his neck. And he plays back-up vocalist extremely well. He and his brother Andy have a side project called “The Brothers Creegan.” Lori and I have their CD “Trunks.” It’s amazing. The more I think about it, the more excited I get for the new CD.

So I scored a free hat. The drunk guy behind me actually tried starting a fight. Long story short, it never came to a brawl, but it almost did. Finally, he calmed down, and we went back to enjoying the show.

A few minutes later, he must have felt drunk love or whatever cuz he put his arm around me and said, “You know, it’sh not that I don’t like this shtuff … I jusht really missh Shteve …” Yes, well … he left a rather large hole to fill. However, the band, and I do mean THE WHOLE BAND, filled those shoes more than adequately. After that and a couple minutes later, he gave me his hat. Apparently, he had just bought it. I don’t know.

Anyway, to all of those who end up reading this and were at the show, I sincerely apologize if “that incident” took away from your enjoyment of the show. I don’t think anyone enjoys negativism for a band they paid good money to see. Yah, if the band sucks and deserves to be booed, sure. That was certainly not the case last night.

Here are some of the choice pics from the show.

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