Muse is one of the greatest rock/heavy metal bands of all time. They are the most innovative group since Queen, using modern technology to create the unique sounds that make them instantly recognizable. Like Queen, the band sets itself apart through high tenor lead vocals and shredding guitar solos, both provided by Matt Bellamy. Another distinctive characteristic that sets these two groups share is their frequent inclusion of piano/synthesizer parts amidst the hard rock style. The DVD, “Live at Rome Olympic Stadium,” captures the incredible display of the showmanship and jaw-dropping virtuosity of this group. While all of the tight vocal harmonies cannot be reproduced as they are on the record (since Bellamy often layers several vocal tracks together), the harmonies still exist through the synthesizer part. I greatly appreciate that they don’t cheat by sampling prerecorded vocal harmonies during this live performance (with the exception of the “Madness” ostinato). We still get to hear the expected harmonies while the performance remains entirely organic. This live performance will help you to understand which harmonies are typically provided by bassist Chris Wolstenholme and which ones are layers of Bellamy’s voice. I was a little disappointed at the addition of f-words into a few of their songs just to get an audience response. Of all the bands out there, they is the last one that would need to add in a few shock-value swear words to enhance their performance. For me, the climax of the entire concert occurs during Guiding Light with all three band members delivering a high-energy performance from the center platform. The simplicity of this particular piece allows for a strong connection between the band and the audience. Other highlights include Bellamy sprinting up and down the runway while playing the epic Plug In Baby solo, the theatrics of Feeling Good, watching Wolstenholme play his touch-pad, pitch-bending bass on “Madness,” the band’s interactions with audience members on the floor while performing, and the flawlessness of the entire show. Muse is an incredible studio group but you cannot truly appreciate their virtuosity until you have seen them perform in person or in this “Live at Rome Olympic Stadium” epic concert recording!
[Pictured: Matt Bellamy is the best guitarist of our generation]