on April 1, 2008
HAARP is the answer to the question of why Muse scoops just about every single "best live act" award that they are nominated for. We're talking about a band that has been able to master every single aspect of live entertainment on a career that has spanned over the past 10 years.
Being lucky enough to witness Muse on stage 6 times, I have to say that their performance never gets boring, and it's never short of fascinating. Matt Bellamy's voice, guitar riffs and distortions bring all that on-stage magic, backed of course by the stunning drum performance of Dom Howard, and the brilliant bass lines and backing vocals of Chris Wolstenholme.
Anyone who's been lucky enough to witness the Muse live experience knows that it's powerful, over the top, and enchanting.
In other words, Muse makes U2 look like Hannah Montana.
I truly wanted to give this DVD a 5 star review, but the only thing that stops me from doing so is the lack of extra features. Certain songs from the performance on the night of June 17th are missing, as well as songs from the 16th that weren't played on the 17th, including:
- Sing For Absolution
- City of Delusion
- Citizen Erased
- Man of Mystery
Let's just hope that we will be able to witness these performance, on a Blu-Ray release of HAARP.
Nevertheless HAARP could easily be considered among the best concert DVD releases ever.
on April 1, 2008
The last time Muse toured through my city, they were the opening act for My Chemical Romance. Such a thing doesn't seem fair for a band that can sell out Wembley Stadium, one of the world's largest sports facilities, twice in two days. This CD/DVD set is from those two famous shows and contain almost every great song Muse has ever written.
Unfortunately, I've never been a fan of live CDs. Why pay money to hear a band perform something live when you can just pay the same amount and get a better, studio-quality recording? The same holds true for the CD in this set. Though the songs are performed greatly and it has one song that the DVD doesn't (boo), "Microcuts," it's just not the same experience as watching the DVD. A live show, especially one on this scale, is equally about visual stimulus as it is audio. That's why I'm focusing this review mainly on the DVD, because it's amazing, awe-inspiring, and it make me wish that I actually went to the Muse show the last time they came through my town.
In a word, this performance is massive. The band enters the stage from the middle of the stadium, rising up onto a platform, before making the long walk down to the absolutely gigantic stage. Once there, they embark on a nearly 2-hour long concert that is one of the most mind-blowing spectacles I have ever witnessed on a DVD. The set goes through different phases, opening with huge numbers like "Knights of Cydonia" and "Hysteria" and really pumping the crowd up. Matt eventually moves over to a grand piano where he plays "Apocalypse Please," "Hoodoo," and "Feeling Good." Things pick back up soon after and the band plays a couple of their more heavy tunes before leaving the stage for a brief intermission.
They reenter shortly after, Matt carrying an acoustic guitar on which he plays "Soldier's Poem" and "Unintended." This is really the most flawed portion of the act, as "Soldier's Poem" isn't really a crowd pleaser by any means. Fortunately, this section is followed by the performance of "Blackout" which is truly breathtaking. During this amazing number, there are actually trapeze artists suspended from gigantic orbs overing hundreds of feet over the crowd. It is worth buying this DVD to witness, as it"s probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen at a concert.
Overall, I've found Haarp to be an awesome piece of media to add to my collection. Though the experience given on the CD is nowhere near as impressive as that found on the DVD, for the price, you really can't go wrong. Though I'm a little upset that "Citizen Erased" is nowhere to be found on this set, I'm more than happy with it. After seeing The Flaming Lips live, I was pretty much sure that I would never see a show quite as entertaining. After viewing this DVD, however, I can safely say that they have some stiff competition. If you call yourself a Muse fan, you owe it to yourself to pick up this set. Disappointment is not an option.
1. "Knights of Cydonia"
2. "Butterflies and Hurricanes"
5. "Take a Bow"
CD: 7 out of 10 Stars
DVD: 9 out of 10 Stars
on April 7, 2008
... But this stupid live set had to put it above just about every band that I like and love (aside from Dream Theater). I don't typically buy too many live DVDs of bands, but, I had heard by a lot of people that Muse puts on one hell of a great show. Since I would someday love to see them live personally, I figured I'd see what I was getting myself into.
I was a little constricted on time, but I got through just about all of the DVD portion. Let's be honest, I didn't care about the CD part of it. I DON'T EVEN LIKE THE SONG "KNIGHTS OF CYDONIA" THAT MUCH! And they made it terrific on their show. Everything was near perfect. So thanks to this stupid set, I was late to an engagement I had to be at, because I seriously was completely enamored with their talent. Matthew Bellamy sounds every bit as good live, as he does on the studio albums, if not BETTER! There isn't all that much Origin of Symmetry or Showbiz on here, but, enough to satisfy I'd say.
I would point towards those who are huge fans of Black Holes and Absolution to buy this set first and foremost. Buy it even if you love Showbiz and OoS. Actually, just buy it. Maybe if you're lucky, you'll miss tomorrow's really boring management meeting due to having too much damn fun watching Matthew Bellamy completely eradicate your chances of wanting to listen to anything else for the next couple of days.
on June 26, 2008
I am incredibly impressed with a band that can sound so great live. The vocals are incredible, the lyrics amusing, and the riffs energetic. Muse is somewhat like a peppier Radiohead-- if you are a Thom Yorke fan I suggest you give it a try. I run to this album, and it gets me going for almost an extra mile :) Amazon's mp3 downloader thingy kicks the pants off of itunes. No DRM!
on April 1, 2008
I had the luxury to see Muse live in Washington DC last year, my son pleaded with me to go see this band I had never heard of (although I did recognize a few songs once I got there). This was the most eye-opening and exciting performance I have seen in a long long time, and this in a year that included a Rush performance as well as two Police events in Stockholm and Washington DC.
Do yourself a favor and find out for yourself why Muse won the Q award for best live act in 2007. It is all here in a glorious production with DTS 5.1 sound. This band has it all. Amazing muscians, Matt Belamy is a certified genius on the guitar, and to top it off, he plays the keyboards as a concert pianist. Amazing vocals, increadibly strong material and a bass/drums backbone second to no other band, maybe with the exception of Rush. But the icing on the cake which makes the act complete is the increadible energy these guys bring to their live events. Live music does not get much better than this.
on April 2, 2008
In the new millennium Muse together with Gomez, Mercury Rev, Elbow, Coldplay and The Flaming Lips (from "Soft Bulletin" (1999) onwards) were the bands that really excited me the most. (Previous to these recent years Kings X and Dream Theater "did it for me" in the 90's, Marillion were "my 80's" band together with Simple Minds, Big Country, Waterboys and U2. My 70's favorites were largely Genesis and Rush.
This live album from 2007 is a fantastic CD / DVD set (please see track listing as part of the "product information" above. 10 of the 13 tracks on the CD (and 13 of the19) (not including the "Intro" bit) Muse played live when they played in Auckland New Zealand in November 2007 (where they opened with "Take a bow" and closed with "Knights of Cydonia" - the reverse of this set. The CD (from the 16th June show) is 70 minutes of the greatest live music I have heard. The songs are very live in feel, passion and energy. The crowd is great and has been mixed in brilliantly, it really has a great live feel. The DVD is the whole 17th June show (thus 6 more tracks than the CD) is sounds fantastic. Visually it is at times just too much to take in (I mean that in appositive sense, there is just so much happening).
This is also a great companion disc to the bands previous live disc (Hullabaloo - 2002 in support of the "Origin of Symmetry" CD (2001) with tracks from that CD and" Showbiz" (1999). On this new one we get 6 tracks from "Black Holes and Revelations" (2006), 4 from "Absolution" (2004), 2 from "Origin" (2001) and 1 from "Showbiz" (1999). The only "repeat" (ie that was already on "Hullabaloo" is "Micro Cuts" (from"Origin").
The band give a superb performance throughout, just brilliant. I can't speak highly enough of this set. For me Muse are THE band of the new millennium, in terms of their ability / freshness/ willingness to take risks and passion for what they do. 75,000 looked and sounded like they loved every minute...
On a personal note I enjoy playing drums (I'm only average myself) and I was fascinated with the playing ability of Dominic Howard - brilliant. He plays a very compact transparent kit which looks great on the DVD with the various lighting effects.
I really enjoy his very heavy bass sounding style (Single kick, with three floor toms - oneon his high hat side) with the snare and singular rack tom providing the contrasts. It is just a great sound.
Certainly one of the great live albums of the new millennium from one of the great bands of these modern times, a tremendous experience in today's age - real musicians playing real instruments and playing with energy and passion in front of a very appreciative 75,000 at Wembley Stadium, in London, England.
I really enjoyed this CD (and DVD), if this sounds remotely like your sort of thing, go for it, it's a top notch effort and has joined my personal list of "Great Live albums" that I've enjoyed over the last 30 years.
- "Live at the Fillmore" from Allman Brothers Band (1971)
- "How the West was won" from Led Zeppelin (1972)
- "Made in Japan" from Deep Purple (1972)
- "Yessongs" from Yes (1973)
- "Welcome back my friends" from ELP (1973)
- "Too late to stop now" from Van Morrison (1974)
- "On your feet or on your knees" from Blue Oyster Cult (1975)
- "Live in London" from Bruce Springsteen (1975)
- "One more from the Road" from Lynyrd Skynrd (1976)
- "Frampton comes alive" from Peter Frampton (1976)
- "Live Bullet" from Bob Seger (1976)
- "Seconds Out" from Genesis (1977)
- "A Live Record" from Camel (1978)
- "Bursting Out Live" from Jethro Tull (1978)
- "Two for the Show" from Kansas (1978)
- "Playing the fool" Gentle Giant (1978)
- "Waiting fro Columbus" from Little Feat (1978)
- "Strangers in the Night" from UFO (1979)
- "Live Rust" from Neil Young (1979).
- "Paris" from Supertramp (1980).
- "Exit...Stage left" from Rush (1981)
- "Under a blood red sky" from U2 (1983)
- "Stop making sense" from Talking Heads (1984)
- "Live in the city of Light" from Simple Minds (1986)
- "Live adventures of the Waterboys" from the Waterboys (1986)
- "Operation Livecrime" from Queensryche (1991)
- "Without a safety Net" from Big Country (1992)
- "Secret World Live" from Peter Gabriel (1994)
- "Together in Concert" from Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga (2000)
- "Lve at the Greek" from Black Crowes and Jimmy Page (2000)
- "Live Scenes from New York" from Dream Theater (2000)
- "Hullabaloo" from Muse (2002)
- "Live in Rio" from Rush (2002).
- "Out West" from Gomez (2005)
- "Instant Delivery" from Flower Kings (2006).
- "Score - 20th Anniversary" from Dream Theater (2006)
- "Freak 'n' Roll - into the fog" from Black Crowes (2006)
- "Okonokos" from My Morning Jacket (2006).
- "HAARP" from Muse (2007).
on September 15, 2014
One of MUSE' best pieces of work in my honest opinion. I love it! The intro, Knights of Cydonia, with the solo and people singing along.. it just really gets you pumped up! And the rest of the album just gets better and better! It's impossible to be angry whilst listening to this. One of my favourite cd's. BUY THIS!
With its last 2 studio albums ("Absolution" and "Black Holes and Revelations"), Muse achieved massive cross-over from a band on the fringe of indie/prog/rock to full blown commercial mainstream appeal. Muse also is one of the most energetic live acts around, and so it is only natural that a live album would be forthcoming at some point. This release, however, does one better: "HAAR: Live at Wembley Stadium, London, 17 June 2007" is indeed a CD/DVD combo.
As to the CD (14 tracks; 72 min.), it is essentially a greatest hits live of the band. All the highlights of the Absolution album and the Black Holes album are here, including Stockholm Syndrome, Suppermassive Black Hole, Hysteria, etc. etc., and a few choice tracks from the early days are included as well. The sound is crisp, and the band is in great form throughout.
As to the DVD (20 tracks, 100 min.), it brings the show in its entirety (which the CD could not do, due to space limitations) and in all of its visual glory. I am very happy to tell you that the DVD is actually watchable, and even more: it is enjoyable. Regretfully, many concert DVDs these days are edited so ridiculously that they induce headaches most of the time. Check out last year's REM Live release as a prime example of that. Beware that there are no extras on the DVD: it's the concert, and that's it.
In all "HAARP" is an excellent recap of what Muse has accomplished to date and where they are today. I've had an opportunity to see the band in concert here in the US a number of times in the 2004-07 period, and while it cannot compare of course to the grandeur of Wembley Stadium, they never failed to give their everything, no matter how small or how large the crowd. I can't wait to see where Muse goes from here.
on April 20, 2012
This is a great set to have for Muse lovers, but it will not play on US DVD/Blu-Ray Players...It did however play on my computer, which wasn't as great b/c my TV screen is much bigger, alas, Muse is Muse is Muse...it was a great buy even tho I can only watch it on my computer.
on April 1, 2008
These guys are probably the best stadium concert act in the world today. This dvd is in widescreen format and has PCM Stereo 2.0 and DTS 5.1 Surround audio options (No Dolby 5.1 surround). It is an NTSC, region 0 dvd which will play in US dvd players. Great performance and a well directed dvd. This is a great band in their prime. Some of this dvd you can preview at muse.mu and get a taste of the show. It doesn't replicate the thrill of seeing Muse in concert, but it comes close.