LIVE: Muse / Marmozets @ Newport Centre, Wales

By Chris Marshman

The venue for tonight’s show is perhaps the best mid-size venue in Wales. The Newport Centre holds around 2000 people but feels a hell of a lot smaller. It’s far too small for a band of Muse’s size, which is not a complaint but rather a nod towards knowing that as soon as you walk into the room, you’re in for something a bit special.

Kicking things off as main (and only) support handpicked by Muse themselves, Marmozets have been presented with a huge chance to widen their fanbase outside of their usual demographic… and impress they do. While this probably isn’t the most intense crowd the band will ever experience, it’s clear from the reaction they receive at the end of their songs that they’re winning the majority over. This band look like they belong on a bigger stage and their sound is more than solid enough to fill it, as they wrap proceedings up with ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ they can look back on their set as a job very well done.

As the venue falls to dark, Muse take the stage to their new single ‘Psycho’ – a song that sounds infinitely better live than on record. The riff is no stranger from their live set having been used as an outro to ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ as far back as 2003 and sounds absolutely huge in a live environment. It’s easily the best offering from Muse in years and the band are all the better for having seemingly ditched the glam/synth sound they’ve employed recently.

It’s always been long proclaimed that Muse excel in their live show and tonight it’s clear to see why that is. When the band are at their best, smashing out the more guitar heavy songs, they almost quite literally blow you away. This is evident with the absolutely huge ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ and from the initial dirty bassline that introduces ‘Hysteria.’

There are a few treats here for the fans who have been around for a while too with a rare outing of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ b-side, ‘Futurism’, as well as a showing of ‘Assassin’ which tonight graces their set for the first time since 2007. The initial fervour dies down slightly towards the end of the set as the band go through some of their later material before ending things with the incredible ‘Knights of Cydonia’ which gets the crowd bouncing again.

An encore was always on the cards and Muse soon return with the biggest reaction saved for ‘Time is Running Out.’ The night gets wound up with a live showing of new song ‘Reapers’ and while it does sound good and is way more reminiscent of the good side of Muse, it doesn’t end the night on the fitting explosion of sound that it perhaps deserves.

That all being said, tonight was a rare opportunity to see a Stadium sized band in a comparably tiny venue. It’s an absolute treat for everyone in the room because when Muse are good, they’re pretty much untouchable.