Muse / My Chemical Romance / Charlotte, NC / 04-26-2007

Muse is currently opening for My Chemical Romance’s “Black Parade” tour. I really can’t complain much about this bill as they are two great live acts. With that said, no one has any business limiting a Muse set to 45 minutes. Having seen Muse in a headlining position, seeing them for such a short time is a bit of a let down because they are so good you just want them to keep playing. This would be relevant even if they played for three hours.

The flow of the show matched that of the Absolution tour wherein they open with some nice eye openers, throw in some less rambunctious melodic selections, then end with a nice explosion of rock power. I was surprised to see them open with Knights of Cydonia, there futuristic, spaghetti western in a song, epic. They played a few other songs from their newest release Black Holes and Revelations including “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Invincible,” and the very rousing “Assassin.”

Overall, it was a good set, but it was missing a few favorites from Absolution. Nevertheless, Muse could really pick any songs from their catalog and put on an amazing show. They are that good live. The 45 minute set obviously left me wanting more. That is about all you can ask for in a rock show, but I honestly can’t think of a band today that Muse could justifiably open for without it seeming like a courtesy. If you haven’t seen Muse live, do it as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

The My Chemical Romance set started with lead singer Gerard Way lying on a hospital gurney with a heart monitor beeping in the background. He gets up and belts out the intro vocals of The Black Parade. Way referred to the band throughout the next few songs as “The Black Parade.” MCR definitely puts on a high energy show complete with huge confetti cannons and ample pyro. Highlights of the Black Parade set included favorites like “Welcome to the Black Parade,” “Teenagers,” and “Famous Last Words.”

Way later announced that The Black Parade only had a couple songs left, but then we’d have to deal with the likes of My Chemical Romance. After a quick wardrobe change, MCR came out in more comfortable clothes to belt out some classic MCR fare to the delight of the old school fans (the kids that became fans early in middle school, not late). Tracks like “Helena” and “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” added a nice new lightness to the somberness of the Black Parade portion.

Regardless, I still preferred the better produced songs from The Black Parade. They allowed MCR to offer a more professional, well organized, and overall better sounding set. I think they really set themselves apart from the rest of the teen angst bands with this latest album, and they represent it very well live.

-Ben Sadler