Gig Review

The Joy Formidable
Birmingham, LG Arena

30th October 2012

Muse                                        The Joy Formiddable    

Photo Of Muse © Copyright  Robert LawrenceMuse are supported by The Joy Formidable, a new group from Wales (Which was certainly appreciated by a certain drunk girl who was stood behind this reviewer!) They had the unenviable task of warming up a crowd for one of the biggest live bands in the world, but took on this task admirably with their blend of atmospheric rock, very similar to Arcade Fire. The problem was, the songs did get a bit samey after a while, and many in the audience were getting impatient for what was to come, but they certainly would have gained a few new fans on the night.

Photo Of Muse © Copyright  Robert LawrenceIt’s not often you see a drummer wearing a red ninja suit at a gig. Then again, Muse have never been just your standard live rock band. From their early days they were notorious for smashing their equipment on-stage - it was this act which got them noticed at one of their first ever gigs, in a Battle Of The Bands competition in 1994.

Flash forward 18 years, and Muse have a reputation as one of the best live bands around, synonymous with impressive light and laser shows, giant spaceships, exploding balloons and alien acrobatics..but underneath all of the gloss? What sets them apart from many other bands and elevates them to Pink Floyd-esque status, is the fact that they’re actually bloody good musically, never afraid to push boundaries and try something new

Photo Of Muse © Copyright  Robert LawrenceOn their latest album, The 2nd Law, this tendency to experiment divided fans somewhat, with many questioning the dubstep influences on some of the tracks, and crying out for the days of Plug In Baby again. On the live stage, however, there’s no question that Muse are still on top of their game. Matt Bellamy, a man always of few words, seems to have been rejuvenated of late, interacting with the crowd more than ever.

Of course, the music speaks for itself, with the audience treated to a two hour mix of old and new material, spanning all 6 of their studio albums, from Sunburn from their debut Showbiz, to recent single Madness, to fan favourites ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ and ‘Knights Of Cydonia’.

These days there’s no guitar smashing on stage, but on this tour there’s a pretty cool giant video pyramid which comes down and consumes the band, and a banker fighting ninja drummer. Muse don’t do subtle, and long may that ethos continue.

The Joy Formidable 3/5
Muse 5/5

Review By Paul Bodman
Photos By Robert Lawrence


Matthew Bellamy
Dominic Howard
Chris Wolstenholme

 The Joy Formidable


 Band Related Links
Muse Facebook
The Joy Formidable Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?