TVD Live Shots: Muse with Evanescence at the Honda Center, 4/12

For those who thought that Muse was becoming an afterthought in the expansive world of alternative rock, think again. On a brisk April evening in Anaheim, Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard heated things up in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Honda Center. This show had everything—crazed fans, tons of pyro and confetti, and a diverse setlist that took the audience on a crazy journey highlighting Muse’s incredible 30-year career.

I love live music and have seen thousands of bands perform on stage since my first concert back in 1986. Some bands have incredible studio albums, but fall short of expectations while performing their hits in front of an audience. Others suffer from the opposite effect—their albums are average at best but kill it when they fire it up under the bright lights. I would consider Muse a unicorn that excels at both and have done so since their inception back in 1994. Their live shows are like no other and set a standard for what a true rock show should look and feel like—on all levels. They are truly the real deal.

Opening for Muse on Wednesday night was one of my favorite bands, Evanescence. Fronted by the brilliant Amy Lee, Evanescence immediately put a stranglehold on the Honda Center and didn’t let go throughout a condensed (yet impressive) 14-song set. Right out of the gate, fans witnessed the incredible stage presence of Amy (vocals), Tim McCord (guitar), Will Hunt (drums), Troy McLawhorn (guitar), and Emma Anzai (bass) as they slayed “Going Under,” “End of the Dream,” and “My Immortal.” Their set was like something out of a dream that highlighted the very best of Evanescence since their initial release Fallen in 2003. The set ended with “Bring Me To Life”—accompanied by Johnny Stevens of Highly Suspect—and with arguably their most recognizable song, and they killed it.

Next up, the main attraction—Muse. Now, I have been a fan since their early days, but for some strange reason never had a chance to see them live. That all changed on Wednesday as I took in my first Muse show right here in my own backyard. Launching into “Will of the People,” Bellamy, Wolstenholme, and Howard set the stage for their entire set with an intro that included masks, pyro, and an unhinged crowd that immediately pegged at 11. And Bellamy was having the time of his life, running up and down the cat-walk like a demon possessed all night long.

Muse’s 24-song set was ridiculously killer, featuring new songs and old standards alike. My favorites were “We Are Fucking Fucked,” “Plug in Baby,” and of course “Uprising.” However, there is always something special for an encore and fans got it with “Kill or Be Killed” and “Knights of Cydonia.” Regardless of one’s proclivity, Muse had something for even the pickiest of fans and no one left the Honda Center without a huge smile on their face. One of the best live shows I have ever seen, period—and that is not said lightly.


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