Sunday, June 18, 2017

Red Hot Muse, Red Hot Musers

sweaty Dom, Matt in red hot skinny jeans, and the always hot hunk Chris

The closest Muse gigs for me on this 2017 tour turned out to be in what I consider the South; Kansas City and St, Louis.  Being perpetually broke, I at first only had a ticket for St. Louis, chosen because it at least had a general admission pit and KC did not. I also have plans to see them at Lollapalooza, but St, Louis looked like my best chance at a barrier spot.  I figured I might have to ride along to KC with no ticket to be able to share a ride to St. Louis, and this became a more interesting prospect when I heard the Westboro Baptist Church might be there to entertain me! However, Stephanie saved me from potentially getting in their faces by selling me her ticket that she could not use.

My fellow road warriors this time were Crystal & Janelle. Crystal graciously let me stay over the night before the long drive to KC-I had wanted to meet her pets for a while anyway. 😊 Muse chose to stream their gig in Austin that night, so we were able to watch with the sound on good speakers and get extra excited for what was to come. We ended up waiting for some storms to blow through the next morning, but were soon on our way in Crystal's very up to date Kia Soul that could simultaneously tell us where to go, play her excellent Spotify list, give message alerts, and offer to find gas stations when the fuel was low. 

We arrived the night before the KC gig and had dinner with an old friend of Crystal's. Then we had the whole day for Muser shenanigans. Since the Starlight Theatre in KC has only seats, there was no reason to queue. Soon we had a message to meet the rest of our gang at a downtown Starbucks. I think it had been 2 years since I saw Cath, and also my first time meeting several other Musers, so I am glad we had this time to hang out. I got an iced mocha, and once we had all arrived, we decided to do some sight seeing/hoping to run into Muse and/or 30 Seconds to Mars who are on tour with them. We sort of lucked out right away, crossing paths with Shannon Leto on his way to Starbucks! We kept on though, even though one of our bunch, Kayla, had an official meet & greet later, and downtown KC is rather pretty, and we rested in the shade when necessary. Here is a pretty hotel we just happened to walk by. 😉

Heidi wisely organised some group photos while we were out and about.


P.F. Chang's was nearby, handled our large group well, and in my mind was just the thing to be eating for a late lunch/early supper on a hot summer day.

Then we headed to the venue,  I was shocked to find security would not allow my Lumix in, luckily Crystal and Janelle had run back to the car already for sun screen, so I was able to put mine away, and warn them. So we took steps to make sure Crystal's camera got in by deploying "female supplies" as camouflage! 😄 While in line for merch, we got the excellent news that Kayla could take Crystal in to the meet & greet! It was finally her turn to meet the guys! Later we found that Muse posted it Snapchat too.

I had a very good seat, dead center, front row of the plaza level, so I could see the stage well enough, but my phone was not up to the task of getting good pics from that distance. Muse began with the new single Dig Down, which of course sounds even more awesome live when you can feel the bass & drums.

Sometimes it worked better to look at the screen though. At least everyone around me was on their feet and rocking out too, though security continued to be annoying, trying to prevent people from trading seats. I also noticed other people with better cameras than mine walking in plain sight, so they were not even consistently strict.

Getting the wide view of Tom Kirk's amazing visuals was some compensation,too.

However, I'm very glad Crystal got some better shots!

Matt came out in the crowd to sing Starlight, but his path did not bring him near me unfortunately. I did manage to grab one of the red streamers during Mercy for a souvenir. Even not being at the front, this felt like a good high energy show.

Some of our group were not going on to St. Louis, so more shenanigans and refuelling our bodies was the next order of business. Catherine has been to the US many times before, but is continually astounded at some of our food habits. 😀 Kayla caught this moment:

Group shot of our hot, tired, but still amped up selves!

Then it was time for an insane overnight push to St, Louis. I begged off driving due to mistrusting my night vision on unfamiliar roads, but tried to be conversational to make it easier for Janelle. We arrived at the Hollywood Casino shortly after dawn, and thought we could perhaps stash our bags somewhere that would not be blistering hot until actual check in time at 4 pm. However, the wonderful woman at the front desk said we could have our room right away if it was ready, and likely in part because it was a Tuesday, it was! So we decided to cat nap before queuing. I also inquired further into the possible usefulness of the hotel shuttle to the amphitheatre which had its own private entrance. We also heard LiveNation was selling fast lane upgrades for $5. 

While we were snoozing, the heat index got up to 100. Janelle was ready to go to the queue first, so I went with to see if I could scope out the private entrance deal. It was indeed closer to the barrier and on Matt's side, too. I thought one of us should try it to see it would be an advantage, and since I don't do well with heat lately, figured I should be the one to risk it. I took the car back, and soon Crystal was ready and took the car to the amphitheatre, I got cleaned up and attempted to eat an early supper, but the gigantic Southwest salad would have been too much even if I wasn't stressing about the barrier. I kind of missed being with everyone, but I heard later someone else had passed out and cracked her head open 😬That could have been me, so just as well. The shuttle worked pretty slick and I was with a small group of other people who had chosen this option, many did it to avoid parking & traffic hassles later on. There were also about 60 people with VIP passes lined up and I knew they would go in ahead of us. Security was much better here, they wanded and inspected bags ahead of time. I also heard my friends in the queue were given cold water and access to bathrooms; a vast improvement over many concert venues I've been to. So entry went smoothly and I power walked to Matt's side of the barrier.  The rest of the group had made it before me, but there was still room on the left, kind of where I wanted to be anyway as it might make it easier to hold the spot. Melodie soon joined me; we were both looking like red hot mamas! Mel had the foresight to bring a cooling towel and a small cooler full of ice cubes and she shared, so I have nicknamed her Our Lady of Mercy of the Ice Cubes! I also got my t-shirt wet and had it around my neck until the sun set.

There was no fuss about my camera this time, but I took very few of Paris and 30STM mostly to conserve energy. I enjoyed both bands, and no one can accuse Jared Leto of being boring! Unfortunately , the one shot I got while he still had the nightgown on didn't come out, so he looks relatively normal here- don't be deceived! 😁

Jared has a great voice and pretty blue eyes, too, but nothing to compare to Matt in my book, even when he's hiding those pretty eyes behind blinky glasses. So a much better view for Dig Down for me this night.

It was also nice to be close enough to attempt close ups.

And at times I had a good view of Dom, too. 

Chris came over to the left side once in a while, this is probably during Hysteria.

I always say I don't care about the set list; I want to hear whatever the guys feel energised about performing. Still , it was nice that they chose to rotate in Map of the Problematique and Bliss for Resistance and Plug In Baby. I would not want to have to choose any one of those over another though.

Dom likes to keep us riled up during Isolated System.

A good view of Matt's sparkly shoes. Jared Leto has a similar pair, so we think they went shopping together!

The Wolstenbeast

More fun with special glasses for Madness.

And about here, I lose track of what song goes with the photo. But you can see Mat is getting hot & sweaty too. 😊

Matt went into the crowd for Starlight again, and again I was not on his path. I had to use maximum zoom to get this. 


I noticed something missing a couple days after I originally posted this- Morgan! I truly could not see him at either gig, but I heard him. He makes the live show possible, especially times like this when Matt is concentrating on singing.

And here I lose track of the songs again; between photos I was also busy jumping, fist pumping and singing along.

But when you see the confetti, you know it's Mercy!

 The Globalist

The next 4 are probably all Uprising, I chose not to try to take pics during Knights of Cydonia.

I was ready with another pair of socks for Matt though I wasn't really hoping for another hug. The stairs didn't line up right and I was all gross and sweaty anyway. I hoped he might see them and pick them up though. I landed a solid throw after Knights ended, but alas, he didn't see them. We then started going after picks, and some of the crew helped us out. Then I saw the missed socks and got them back to maybe try another day, but Kayla pointed out Oli was still around. So I got over to him and asked if he could get them to Matt as a late birthday present. He said he would make sure of it, with a huge grin, so I am confident they were delivered. 😀  

Here's what we heard, but the set list is truly only a fraction of the experience.

Hydration was critical after this gig, Melodie actually left our barrier spot to sit down after a while , but she also had a better view of Chris from that spot! 😉 So I popped for an expensive bottle of cold water and sucked it right down. Kayla had a slightly different method!

We were in no shape for any more shenanigans after this. Kayla and Catherine had originally planned to drive right back to KC, but wisely crashed in our room for a few hours instead (even though I now know I snore "like a freight train" I hope they got some rest) .

Crystal, Janelle and I slept  a bit later, but made check out time at 11 am. I finally did some driving on the long stretch back to Rochester, it was fine weather though and we made good time, so I was able to hop in my car and get home to my cats the same night .  As I unloaded my laundry, I was horrified to discover my Psycho shirt was missing. That was the one I had dunked in ice water, then I hung it in the closet to dry and forgot it at the hotel! However, the consistently helpful Hollywood Casino staff found it and have shipped it back to me. Phew! That was the shirt I was wearing the time I did get a hug from Matt, can't believe I was that careless with it, sure sign of some heat exhaustion!

A little of the loot I collected in the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

So 2 great shows, and good times with old friends and new friends. Can't wait for Lollapalooza in August, I doubt if I can handle barrier there, but will get as close as I can for Muse! 

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