The fan base for Muse grows with every release. 2006 s Black Holes And Revelations broke into the U.S. Top 10 while hitting #1 in the U.K. and much of Europe, where it sold 1 million copies and was #3 on NME's Albums Of The Year list. A multiple BRIT Award winner for Best Live Act,
Muse then staged two massive sold-out performances at 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium in London last June, which increasingly are recognised as amongst the definitive live moments of the year. The best performances from those concerts, as well as bonus backstage footage, are presented on the CD/DVD set HAARP. The concerts once again demonstrated the raw power and unquenchable ambition of one of the UK's most successful long-term bands and one of, if not the, greatest, most ambitious live act in the world at the present time.
It takes a certain sort of band to fill Wembley stadium, one unafraid to embrace scale, flirt with pomposity, and perform the odd grand gesture. Watching Muse's live CD/DVD H.A.A.R.P
--recorded over two nights in June 2007--you're left wondering if Wembley is quite big enough to hold them. From the grand opening, when Muse ascend from an underground chamber and walk down a central ramp flanked by men in yellow chemical splash suits to Matt Bellamy's lengthy, florid turns at the grand piano, no opportunity is missed to make H.A.A.R.P
seem anything less than a spectacle. Shot in high definition, the camera-work is as snappy and dynamic as any movie blockbuster, with special attention to the crowd, who are picked out with sometimes breathtaking detail. Fans may gripe over the tracklisting--the DVD has been edited down, meaning four tracks, including "Bliss" have been left on the cutting floor-but casuals should be satisfied with the selection: there's the hits ("Supermassive Black Hole", "Knights of Cydonia") and on the DVD, a noble rendition of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good". --Louis Pattison