Sunday, September 22, 2013

things we do for Muse

Some fairy godmothers made it possible for this broke Muser to see them one more time in Denver. I could not afford the tickets when they first went on sale, then hoped to win the backstage pass contest, but got depressed and resigned to my fate when I did not. But it was only hours later that Terra Howard told me she had a spare ticket SQUEEE, time to scramble for transportation! It did end being an unusual journey, starting with a midnight bus ride for me & Wendy to Des Moines to meet our driver.
Wendy's photo
Wendy's photo
We quickly used the facilities and got out of there! attempted to sleep for a couple hours under a tree but it was a bit chillier than we were prepared for, so as soon as dawn broke we headed downtown looking for Starbucks. They were closed for remodelling, argh! Then we spotted a Panera and got some hot food and coffee and began enjoying the free wifi :-) as it turned out, for many hours! The staff there were wonderful , happy to let us park as long as we were eating and drinking so we had lunch there too. I did briefly walk around and found a spot to do yoga, but wasn't inspired to get touristy at all.

Jung found us after lunch and we began the long drive to Colorado. 
Iowa and Nebraska are not ideal states to cross by car :-P  though I should say here I was a driving wimp between tiredness and a new medication. I would never have been able to drive as fast as Jung & Wendy anyway ;-)  they are pros! After singing along with nearly the entire Muse discography, we had to tap into a few other bands, but finally made it to our cheap hotel in Denver. Nothing special, a bit run down, but close to the Pespi Center.
Jung & Wendy crashed for just a few hours before joining the overnight campers in the queue. I decided I did not need to be that early as the others in my group of tickets would not be either. And as it turned out, Mary & Roger arrived only moments before me around 7 am. It was still nice and shady at that time.
After greeting people and waiting my turn to make a breakfast run, I was off to a Starbucks for my only coffee of the day. Took my obligatory mountain photo on the way back :-) 
Then it started to heat up, quite a bit more than we expected, found some shade for a yoga break. 

We were grateful that the venue was letting us use their bathrooms as we needed to stay hydrated. I was very happy when a  few clouds moved in.

Finally it was time to go in. As usual we had numbered ourselves with a sharpie, but security did not seem to grasp how important it was to maintain this order going in, despite several polite conversations earlier in the day. So there was chaos at the doors, partially relieved by a special escort for our first few  groups, but the order was messed up :-( Some young men right behind me in line who should have gotten a barrier spot did not. I went for Matt's side with Mary & Roger, who were happy to see Liam (Muse security) again. 
Terra's photo
Terra's photo
I had been forewarned about Cage the Elephant and Matt Schultz's  half dressed, Jaggeresque style + crowd surfing! He did not get that near us so I did not have to decide if I wanted to stuff a dollar in his pants as some ladies did! 
So that was a bit different than other support acts I'd seen! but I was ready for Muse. This was the first time I got to see the set open with Isolated System, but the pyramid soon rose to reveal our boys, Matt Bellamy looking delicious in red leather.
I was surprised that the Denver crowd did not shove at all, so I was able to really enjoy the music and the energy coming from Matt, Chris, Dom & Morgan. And they were very energetic, enough that Matt eventually took the jacket off :-)
Catherine took this totally hot photo!
Catherine took this totally hot photo!

Roger's photo
Roger's photo
Most intense performance of Sunburn I've seen, but the most emotional song always seems to be Follow Me.

My best photo of the night, may have still been during Follow Me.

Then back to rocking hard with Animals and Liquid State.

Starlight was extra special for Catherine. Matt was laying down on the thrust stage, holding the mike out to the crowd as he has been doing lately, but took that oportunity to ask her how many gigs she's been to now? 103! "Crazy!" he said, I would love to put the video in here but that does not seem to be allowed.  So a still photo will have to do. 
Terra's photo
Terra's photo

No chat for me, but I got this view ;-)
Then all too soon, it was the closer, Survival. I attempted the soprano choral parts, did not do as well as the spring  gigs. 
Dom came forward to do his usual "Cheers" speech as many of us went for drumsticks and plectrums. However, my mission was to throw another crazy pair of socks for Matt. They got on the stage easily, but he did not seem to see them :-( he  crossed over and picked up something else, but then he spotted them crossing back!  I must have gotten extra bouncy at that point because after he picked them up , he looked at me and made a thank you nod/bow!! I am crazy but not delusional; I have witnesses :-D  if not a photo of that moment.  But these are the socks:
Muse donated the proceeds of the merch sales that night to the Colorado flood victims, so anyone who had any $  went to the merch booth. Then I don't know if we did not  feel like stalking the band ;-) or were simply too dehydrated, but we headed to Rock Bottom Brewery for drinks and snacks. We really did order water first! and that was all I had to drink, but I did decide to try a half order of nachos. So did several others at the table. We were all stunned to see the HALF order was a 10 " platter! They were yummy , so I did attempt to eat it up, but even with Catherine's help, I couldn't do it. 

Then it was time to say good bye to some. So happy to have been able to see old Muse friends and make new ones. I survived the airport hassle and the flight back to MSP the next day, and then the remainder of the work week-barely. Today is my crash day, but I am re-living it all through photos, videos and friends' posts :-)

International Muse Day -originally posted on xanga March 2010

seems a good occasion to gather some thoughts and pics on seeing them in Chicago last week. I was quite nervous about handling the whole waiting in line, being in the pit experience since I'm at least twice the age of most people doing that. But some Musers from the message board guided me through it, and it was great meeting them and the other people in line. Here's the line in the  morning when the sun was still out

We covered each other for bathroom runs ( very important to an old fart like myself) shared food, blankets, and these 2 even shared earbuds to help pass the time. There was also a rousing game of Uno that killed at least an hour

And it really was possible to have pizza delivered to the sidewalk!

the day turned colder, windier and finally rainy , but we hung in there and the line grew, the United Center took this short video!/video/video.php?v=689833775477&ref=mf

the weather did not deter one of our group from showing off his special shirt! (taken by PistolStar)

Finally at 6 pm they let us in, and my endurance was rewarded with a spot at the barrier right in front of where Matt Bellamy would be, I noticed the venue had a perfect nickname for the evening

The support act, Silversun Pickups , were good , but just not in the same category as Muse. Once the curtains came down from the towers, I felt like I was in a dream (picture by "blueOrchid")  

I had a great time dancing, singing,  and fist pumping with all the kids around me. Understandably, my pics are not very good, the sharper ones were taken by others!

(taken by Sam)

lots of awesome "guitar sex " happened right in front of me ( by Starlight04 aka Hillary Joy)

but one of the best moments of the night was the emotion Matt put into singing Guidiing Light, very intense. Another was during Starlight when I thought , maybe, possibly ,Matt made eye contact for a second, or I could just be delusional, he mostly sings with his eyes closed. (taken by Starlight04)

oh yeah, there were some other guys on stage too! (taken by Joanie)  don't worry, I certainly heard them, Chris' melodic bass and Dom's powerful drumming are  just as much part of the magic

Knights of Cydonia, the end of the encore( taken by Joanie)

I hope it won't years before  I get to do this again! It was by far the best concert of my life, so I am ready to camp out on a sidewalk again, and maybe even travel farther from home this time. But many thanks to my sister and brother in law for providing free luxurious room and board for this trip!
(taken by Starlight04)

This time seemed like a dream, too- originally posted on xanga Oct. 2010

I thought my 2nd Muse concert might not affect me the same way, but it did. In many ways it was even better, the #1 one reason being the Muse friends who came to visit. I met great Musers in Chicago too,and met even more this time,  but Nat, Catherine and Renee  and I have been very close online already, so it was extra special to have this experience with them. We were all too excited to eat or sleep properly, Nat even drove all night from Texas to get here in time to line up, here we are early in the morning in front of Target Center

Starbucks was handy and accommodating, they let us use the bathrooms all day and were rewarded with lots of food & beverage purchases. Just when we were thinking  it was taking too long to get to the projected high of 70, Target Center  let us line up inside

that was still early in the day, about  5 pm a lot more people showed up and it started getting rowdy. I think that's what gave security the dumb idea to open a second door when they let us into the arena , which allowed people who had arrived late to shove in front of people who had waited all daysad but my group still made it to the barrier! The security guys at the front were very cool , and one of them took this for us, from left, Renee, Catherine, Natalia & me.

we had passed some of time waiting making this goofy flag, it's an inside Muse joke, not sure the guys noticed it though,

after getting through support act Passion Pit (OK but I am not looking for their cds) and testing out my camera a bit, the towers finally lit up and we started with Exogenesis rather then Uprising this time. And my new camera got a few pictures worth showing despite the extreme shoving coming from my left side

though I was sleep deprived among other things, suddenly I had tons of energy and was jumping up and down, screaming and singing along, yet also trying to make sure Natalia did not get shoved too much because she knows what she's doing with her camera, here is her set:
The crowd seemed more enthusiastic than Chicago, and to some extent , Muse did too, though this was a pretty small gig for them. I did notice the acoustics were not as good though,some distortion, especially on the piano based songs

Overall, it was simply amazing musicianship and energy, I mostly did not notice whether certain songs were played or not, just thoroughly enjoyed each one. Feeling Good sounded especially sensual this time.

and though I felt we got more than our money's worth, of course it also felt like it was over too soon. They closed with the first Muse song I ever heard (on Ted's mp3 player) Take A Bow

Catherine got a setlist (more on the sig coming up)

Then we got some merchandise, those whose phones could do so tweeted our euphoria, then it was time for some "stalking" laughing We hung around the tour buses, hoping to get a chance to say hello and thank you. And while Matt, Dom & Chris stayed hidden  ( there was one drunk guy being unruly so I don't blame them) Morgan (their extra musician for live shows)  was spotted at the bar across the street,and we got to meet Tom Kirk! Tom is like a 4th member of the band, takes care of all the visuals and is a long time mate of the guys. So we got to chat a bit...
mostly saying how happy we were with the show. Tom was kind enough to sign Catherine's setlist and

Nat's shoulder!! LOL
We hung around a little longer, but the buses finally pulled away for their show in Milwaukee the next night.
One thing I was able to see here that I could not in Chicago was how many trucks they have and how hard the crew works setting up. It really does take all day, and must be a neat trick to get it down and packed up for a show the very next day.
It was so sad to drop Renee off at her hotel (she travelled with her hubby) I got to keep Nat & Catherine a little longer and feed them some breakfast before they set off for another Muse show in Oklahoma City, hope we can all do this again some day!