Like Radiohead who we featured earlier on this month, Muse are a band who have had no new album available in record shops this year. Whereas Radiohead will release ‘In Rainbows’ on New Year’s Eve, Muse spent most of 2007 touring the massive 2006 LP ‘Black Holes and Revelations’.

Although Muse have played all over the world throughout the year, their 2007 can be defined for UK fans by one week at the start of the summer: Saturday June 9, Isle of Wight Festival, followed by Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June, some small gig you might have read about, in a place called Wembley Stadium!

The isle of Wight Festival saw the stage set which had been used in 2006, including the dome over the drums, get another outing.

Looking back, for me, having seen both the Isle of Wight headline set, and the first of the two nights at Wembley, the June 9 show was the stronger of the two judging purely on musical terms, for Muse really come into their own in the festival environment. Wembley did mark a major milestone in their career and it had all the theatrics you’d expect from Muse, taken up a level, and on these nights, it was as much about the occasion as simply being a rock gig.

“With a stage boasting huge satellite dishes, futuristic antennas and thousands of dazzling lights, you'd have been forgiven for thinking that this was a show that could be seen all the way on Mars,” R13 reviewer Jodie Woodgate. During one song, ‘Starlight’ we saw a “shower of pyrotechnics that flowed from the top of the stage and sparkled throughout each chorus whilst fourteen gigantic balls placed on the seats behind the staging put on their very own light show, changing colour alternately and upping the ante further for the next band to follow Muse at Wembley.” Incidentally the next band to play the stadium, minus Live Earth and the Concert for Diana, was Metallica, who had virtually no extravagant visuals at all.

Both Metallica and Muse, and plenty more in the future, have the problem that, despite being one of the most prestigious venues on the planet, the Wembley experience for the fan varies massively depending on which part of the stadium you’re in. Read more on what Wembley itself is like

Read a review of the Saturday night set from Muse

These two London gigs were among the most talked about of the year, and rightly so, with Muse lining up a support bill of bands who’d sell out decent sized venues on their own. It’s fair to say that those going on the Sunday got by far the better deal, with
Biffy Clyro and
My Chemical Romance warming things up.

Reflecting on the weekend from the view of a support band, James from Biffy Clyro, who also supported Muse in Europe, told us: “That was really exciting. It was the first show that we had done of that size, so it was incredible and also it was a big event being one of the first shows at Wembley. We were very nervous, but I think as soon as we got on stage we just felt great.”

The Muse world tour saw them take in festivals in Europe, including a headline set at Spain’s Benicassim. By way of proof that R13 reviewers form their own opinions, and aren’t interested in simply going with the masses, Andy Reilly was left somewhat indifferent by the hype surrounding this band. Read his thoughts

What cannot be argued is that Muse have made a massive impact in 2007, and when so often stadiums are filled by American bands or those that have been going for two, sometimes three or more decades, it’s about time somebody who started releasing records in the past ten years graduated to the league that contains U2, The Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Whether this is the top league is for you to decide.

Our review of the first Wembley night suggested the next band to play the venue would have a job living up to what Muse put on show, should they choose to do so. Of equal importance is how Muse themselves live up to this. Stadiums were on the cards from the moment we heard ‘Black Holes…’ and so how the follow up sounds will be fascinating. Drummer Dom Howard has said that the band may go in a more electronic direction and that we won’t have too long to wait. In a recent interview with the Daily Star, he explained that the band would begin work in the new year and, unlike previous albums, they don't feel a complete break is needed since they're "buzzing" at the moment. We await with interest.

Check out the rest of our band of the day articles