A triumphant close

Muse have produced one of the finest albums of the year, and the prospect of seeing it played live was one of the real attractions for the Carling Weekend in 2006...they didn't disappoint!

Playing to a packed Main Stage crowd who had to live with the first major down pour of the weekend (and at times it seemed as if the rain was making up for lost time), Muse ran through a set that mixed the old and new with each track receiving the kind of reaction a lot of bands can only dream about. Backed by video screens that occasionally flashed up song lyrics, plus fireworks that competed with the wet, the band rounded off the weekend in some style.

They opened with new album closing track 'Knights of Cydonia', followed by the massive anthem 'Hysteria' and recent hit single 'Super Massive Blackhole'. The latter was something of a controversial release among some traditional Muse fans given its electro influences, but for me this is its charm and that aspect of the track didn't come across as well live as I'd have liked.

The hour and a half set mixed tracks from throughout their career, with the hits 'Bliss', 'Feeling Good', 'Newborn', 'Plug In Baby' and 'Time Is Running Out' all featuring. From the new album 'Maps Of The Problematique', 'Invincible' and new single 'Starlight' were big favourites.

I was a bit surprised with the album opener and closer swapping places for this set, but it worked a treat. The set ended as 'Black Holes and Revelations' begins; with 'Take A Bow', but unusually for this sort of show there was no encore. Not that the drenched fans seemed too fussed. People watchers, especially males would have enjoyed the end of this set, as there were a hell of a lot of people who'd come dressed for the summer and a considerable amount of bedraggled females were heading away into the night, which incidentally was about to get even more wet and muddy.

Muse are to tour UK arenas this winter and this set at Leeds proves, as if there was any doubt, that they are up there with the very best as far as must-see British bands of all time are concerned. They're also the perfect band to have headlining a major festival. They played the Saturday night at Reading, but were excellent filling the position as the festival climax band.