Muse 7/24/17

(a) setlist

  1. Dig Down
  2. Psycho
  3. Interlude
  4. Hysteria
  5. Map of the Problematique
  6. Bliss
  7. The 2nd Law: Isolated System
  8. The Handler
  9. Supermassive Black Hole
  10. New Kind Of Kick (The Cramps cover)
  11. Madness
  12. Undisclosed Desires
  13. Starlight
  14. Time Is Running Out
  15. Mercy


  1. Uprising
  2. Knights of Cydonia


(b) highlights

  • this was my first time officially shooting a show for a real publication!!! and it was shooting MUUUUSSSEEE. literal dream come true. (you can check out some of my shots at The Pop Break – I have more below here, as well.)
  • this show was for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City, which is cool af; Muse always knows what’s up
  • setlist was fire – into all the songs here, don’t care what haters say
  • Map of the Problematique!!!!
  • for real, getting to shoot this – even though it was a complex layout – was exciting and thrilling and scary and freaking awesome

(c) lowlights

  • I was originally supposed to shoot right in front of the stage, but then it was switched to just in front of the tech booth. eeek.
  • it rained before the show and for the the first couple of songs. not the end of the world, but I had a brand new lens on my camera and that was….stressful.
  • nothing else because Muse is flawless; Matt and Chris and Dom for life.


(d) overall thoughts


Getting to see Muse during this little summer tour has been one of my favorite things. To see a band that normally goes all in, puts out, and brings things to the next level with every performance, it’s so refreshing to see them in another light. Relatively stripped back stage design, level lights, and nothing but pure tunes in Central Park is alllll you need.

Matt, Chris, and Dom sounded fierce as usual, and everything was glowing as the sun set over the river to the west. The crowd was a bit wet and I had snuck up on the left side after shooting in the back to find a tucked-away corner of the pit. To hear songs I’ve loved for over a decade in Central Park surrounded by friends gave me such a warm feeling inside. Dusk quickly became night and the setlist quickly evolved into older classics like “Hysteria” and “Map of the Problematique.”

Even though the setlist was nearly identical to the previous show only two nights earlier, everything felt familiar and unique in the new setting. The Central Park crowd was in high spirits, tightly packed into each other. I saw older fans and even kids lining some of the barricade, everyone joyful and glowing under the soft light. I’ll never forget this show, and not just because I got to shoot one of my favorite bands. I’ll always love Muse because they always remain themselves; they transform with every new album and a lot of people give them shit, but I get what they’re doing. They’re just Matt, Chris, and Dom. They’re having a good time, entertaining the crowd, and never fail to forget how a single song can completely turn everything around.

Bottom line: This show was iconic. The intimacy of everyone jam-packed into pockets of jumping masses made this night in the park so memorable. Moving throughout the back of the pit to capture great shots, as well as moving up close to feel myself in the music only proved that – no matter the setting – Muse shows up. And while not every band can say that, Muse can.

Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars 7/22/17

(i) lineup

1a. 30 Seconds To Mars
2b. Muse

(1a) (30 Seconds To Mars’s) setlist

    1. Up in the Air
    2. Conquistador
    3. This Is War
    4. Kings and Queens
    5. Alibi
    6. The Kill (Bury Me)
    7. City of Angels
    8. Do or Die
    9. The Ocean (Led Zeppelin cover)
    10. Closer to the Edge

(1b) highlights

  • 30 Seconds to Mars are off their rockers, but they’re definitely not boring, that’s for sure
  • Jared Leto is a Character – for lack of better phrasing – and honestly, he was so entertaining despite looking like a hot mess

(1c) lowlights

  • even though there are 10 songs on the setlist…I am nearly positive at least 3-4 of those songs were not played in full; Jared Leto would rather prognosticate and preach for 5 minutes than simply sing his song. “The Kill,” which is normally maybe 4 minutes long, turned into a 12 minute affair of him climbing through the crowd, giving speeches, slowing the melody, turning it acoustic, and basically rewriting it live? Jared, what are you doing bb, what is happening
  • it rained a bit at the show, so there’s quite a bit of sloshing happening in the pit. While it was significantly worse during Muse, it started picking up during 30 STM and it was def too much

(1d) overall thoughts

30 Seconds to Mars came on the scene sometime in 2005 and made very distinctly 2005 music at the time. So, I’m honestly a bit surprised to say these guys are not only still around, but creating work that feels new.

Surprisingly, I’d actually seen 30 STM once before, at Weenie Roast in May 2007. I had enjoyed their debut album enough and was eager to see them join the lineup of great people at the time. Even then, I remembered thinking that their performance was over the top and a bit exaggerated, so there’s so reason why I should’ve assumed they’d be different this time. Because they weren’t.

Jared Leto is such a caricature of a rock star, as opposed to an actual rock star, that his performance comes across as hysterical to me. I actually enjoy him as an actor and don’t mind 30’s music (though I probably wouldn’t purposely seek it out, to be honest), but man, his stage persona brings things to another realm. An…unreal realm. He was wearing bright blue track pants underneath an Asian-inspired, floral Grandma-esque muumuu, a bright silver leather jacket, ridiculous high tops sneakers, orange huge sunglasses, a camo hat, and Jesus beard…need I go on? I appreciate that the dude, as he explains, is at “level 17 of I don’t give a fuck” – but I think it’s pretty notable that I remember more of what Jared Leto was wearing than the music.

Bottom line: 30 Seconds To Mars are never boring, but as a group, they’re a bit bogged down by Jared Leto’s self-admitted antics. I was certainly entertained, but in the same way I’m entertained by a bad movie that I can’t stop watching because it’s so bad.

(2a) (Muse’s) setlist

    1. Dig Down
    2. Psycho
    3. Interlude
    4. Hysteria
    5. Resistance
    6. Plug in Baby
    7. The 2nd Law: Isolated System
    8. Stockholm Syndrome
    9. Supermassive Black Hole
    10. New Kind Of Kick
    11. Madness
    12. Dead Inside
    13. Munich Jam
    14. Starlight
    15. Time is Running Out
    16. Mercy
    17. The Globalist


  1. Uprising
  2. Knights of Cydonia

(2b) highlights

  • Muse is fiiiiiiiiireeeeeee, and I will gladly fight anyone who disagrees with me whatsoever.
  • the energy of the crowd, the band, the sound, the lights – everything was so heightened and immersive. Even with Muse holding back from their usual overwhelming set design, I felt their power through this performance
  • setlist was flawless from beginning to end, not a single bad song in there and every moment that needed to feel long and meaningful was certainly so
  • Matt going into the audience in the rain during “Starlight” and having the entire venue sing along was magical

(2c) lowlights

  • did you know that when it rains at Jones Beach, the surrounding water line rises? And then pours over into the GA pit at the amphitheater? We were standing in 8 inches of water for most of the show while it was also raining, so that was….an experience.

(2d) overall thoughts

For me, there’s no band quite like Muse. They elevate everything, everything they do feels richer and livelier, and they’re unabashedly over the top while still remaining themselves. People knock them for seeing inauthentic, unnecessarily garish, and a big cheesy, but I honestly never feel that way experiencing Muse. It’s a sensory experience, yes, but when Matt Bellamy stands onstage in bright red pants and a silk blue bomber jacket, I believe him. (This is the exact opposite feeling I have toward Jared Leto, if that reveals anything.)

Matt, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dom Howard all blend together to create a perfect cacophony; together, they’re true melodic. Their high energy and general happiness onstage together is honestly refreshing and uplifting. Few bands I see nowadays have an unspoken language between the members in such an obvious way.

This show was wet, hot wild, and fun down in the pit, and even though Muse wasn’t playing a new album (only “Dig Down” and their “Some Kind Of Kick” cover were new additions), you never have the feeling like they’re going through the motions. You can tell that each of them enjoy their work and care for each song – it’s refreshing when every member of a band actually gives a shit.


Bottom line: Muse stands out as a band for me not only because of their unique voice and all-encompassing performances that feel intentional, precise, and emotional, but their energy and dedication to the crowd and each song is remarkable. How many other bands can say that?