Start with Hysteria and go on.
If there is a band who have the sense of the spectacular, the pomposity and the general desire to create a show worthy of repeated viewing, surely Muse are it. Their Absolution tour DVD showcased the bands Glastonbury 2004 performance, a bittersweet night for the act.
On stage, the band laid claim to being one of the UK's premier rock performers but were later greeted with the upsetting news of drummer Dominic Howard's father passing away. That the band still chose to release this show indicates the quality and strength of their performance.
Visually, the DVD relies on crowd scenes and Muses own stage theatricals to bring life to the show. The crowd scenes are great at first with the darkness of the night being punctured by lighters, fires and the main stage and the atmosphere shines through. If you were there it would be a great keepsake of the evening and if you weren't, it carries the sense of the occasion very well.
However, over the course of the DVD there are only so many times you would wish to see the same crowd scenes so it probably dulls slightly by the end of the concert. What the crowd scenes lose in spontaneity and variety, they gain in cohesion and continuity.
Thankfully, Muses all action performance and their Doctor Who on acid stage set-up brings a vigour to proceedings, coupled with inventive use of smoke and light, creates an overall visual treat. Muse are one of the few bands who take Queens love of grand gestures and operatic overtures and its this aspect that carries the DVD.
Many bands live performances are all about the music and the atmosphere and don't transfer well to film but with Muse, the show seems to be as important and lead singer Matt Bellamy, in white garb, spiky hair and permanent menace, contains the crowd in his palm all night.
His nasally, whiny vocals may split opinions country wide but his keyboard and guitar skills are often overlooked as one of the key factors in Muse's continuing success.
As for the music, it all depends on if you are a fan of the band. From the opening bass rumble of 'Hysteria', its apparent that Muse rose to the challenge of Glastonbury and delivered a performance that justifies their live reputation.
Its all captured and the sound quality is favourable for a reproduction of such a massive show. The tinkling pianos, the chugging guitar riffs, the bombastic drums and even the knee slides are all captured and visualised. If you are a fan of Muse, this DVD will be essential viewing and if you just have a curious side, it could be worth a borrow to see why Muse are regarded as an act that takes their live performances seriously.
With closing tracks like 'Time Is Running Out' and 'Plug In Baby' finding the band and crowd on top form, this recording will convince Muse fans of the bands standing as one of the major UK rock acts.
The DVD extras contain live performances from more intimate shows (intimate compared to Glastonbury) and whilst limited in number, offers a good variety in comparison with the main performance.