Only one band has ever made me a violent. I don’t mosh at concerts and I’m not about to get in a passionate argument about Jim Morrison’s impact on rock and roll. I may have 3,422 songs on Itunes (add 14 to that when I import the best of Alphaville album), but I’d say I’m mostly a casual music fan except for one band.
In junior year, I punched my dorm room wall because of Muse.
This British alt rock band infuriated me. It was an anger I had never felt before and it was all because they cancelled their concert at the Glens Falls Civic Center, about five minutes from where my parents live. The tickets, dated for some day March 2007, rested on my desk and I would have ripped them up if they weren’t needed for the refund.
I adore Muse. I love them. Their music, like no other band, is perfection to my ears. Their fusion of electronica, face-melting riffs, classical music and similar-but-more-coherent-than-Radiohead vocals can make me head bang, listen contemplatively and sing along all at once. I don’t even care the lead singer, Matthew Bellamy, believes 9/11 was a conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. government. When you’re music is that good you can believe whatever the hell you want.
Muse and I have an lengthy, mostly negative, history. They cancelled the Glens Falls concert after all the roadies came down with a nasty bout of (alleged) food poisoning in 2007. In December 2007, they cancelled another concert that I was planning to see while studying in Bangkok. One time, however, the show went on. It was heavenly. It was delightful. I know it’s clichéd, but it was unforgettable. It was also in Poland and I was jetlagged out of my mind.
I made it into the Gdynia, on the outskirts of the Baltic city G’Dansk on June 30. It was day two of the Heineken Open’er Fest and I met up with a trio of British guys also there for the show inside the hostel. We arrived too late to see Groove Armada and got there just as the Beastie Boys were on the stage. The Beasties, one of my all-time favorite groups since about second grade, were doing their thing I didn’t even care. I just wanted Muse to play.
Everything was a blur when Muse went on and I don’t think it was because I was drinking heavily. I was euphoric from the opening song (Time is Running Out, I think) to the last (Knights of Cydonia). I have a journal somewhere which documents the night in detail. I can't seem to find it.
I stayed up for 24 more hours after Muse finished up at about 1 a.m. The adrenaline was flowing as the guys and I went to the nearby club until 6 a.m. I was covered in mud when we made it back to the hostel. I only had time to shower until I had to catch my train. I stayed up for the entire five hour ride, although not by choice. The seats were crowded and as soon as I’d nod off, I’d accidentally lean over on the lady next to me. She was not amused and glared often.
I haven’t been to a concert as good since then, but as much as I love Muse, I’m tapering my expectations for next Friday. The seats, while decent, can’t be better than being on the ground level. I already lost my Muse virginity, so the second time probably won’t be such a religious experience. While I’m excited to see them, it’s not the same giddiness I felt the first time. Still, maybe it’ll be better than that night in Poland. All I know is that the beer ($2 in Poland) won’t be quite as cheap in the Garden.