While waiting for MUSE to take the stage, those that arrived early were treated to one of the freshest up and coming rock bands to come out of Los Angeles in years. Dead Sara fronted by charismatic singer/guitarist Emily Armstrong is an example of everything that is right with rock and roll. The band has risen quickly while remaining extremely humble. Their live show is one that will not soon be forgotten by the hundreds of thousands of MUSE fans around the US seeing them for the first time. The band has come through Chicago before on Warped Tour and Riot Fest. We also had the pleasure of covering them at Sunset Strip Music Festival last year where Emily Armstrong sat in with The Doors on vocals for a memorable performance honoring the band at the House of Blues LA. Dead Sara has even toured before with Chicago's own Chevelle, so there certainly were fans of Dead Sara in the United Center last night. Dead Sara is a band that has planted seeds in the fertile soils of Chicago before however, this was the first arena tour the band hasever been on. Even Armstrong herself pointed out during the bands set that it was cool to stop and talk to the front rows of the audience as if the show was in a small club while actually standing 10 ft from the front row in a packed arena . Musically, Armstrong's vocals inject into your heart like a shot of adrenaline as she conveys every word and every note from deep within her soul. It is as if she channels the great soulful artists of rock and roll pasts such as Janis Joplin creating memorable performance moments. She even got on top of the bands 8x10 bass cabinet to thank Chicago before jumping off into mid air scissor kicking her legs to each side... Although it was obvious that not many people in the large arena knew the songs, many however could be seen grooving to each of the songs as if they realized one by one they were discovering a great new up and coming band. In a world full of opening bands that might fade from an audiences memory, Dead Sara will be remembered in the minds and hearts of MUSE fans all over America seeing them for the first time.
Dead Sara Setlist:
Blue Was the Feeling for You (unreleased)
After about a 30 minute setup period the crew cleared the stage, the house lights once again went dark and MUSE for just under 2 hour period showed a packed house at the United Center how to create and deliver an emotional prog-rock focused audio and visual experience. The show itself is a spectacular designed specifically with the audiences perspective in mind. From beginning to end everyone in attendance is taken on a journey through every kind of emotional moment known to man (or women). Through the use of audio and video resources and production the band and crew created moments of resistance, aggression, passion, sweet solitude, and awe all at the hands of one of the most dynamic rock bands in the world. The survivalist messages that ring throughout almost every MUSE song became anthems amongst loud cheers. Although the band is certainly not the most original in the world, they make up for it through production and delivery. Every square inch of the gigantic stage was utilized as a giant video screen. The performance itself was being filmed and footage from the cameras could be seen on screens interlaced with the band on the stage. There was not much that this show did not have production wise. There was smoke, there were lasers, there was lots of intelligent lighting. There was an extension in front of the stage that allowed for Bellamy and Wolstenholme to go closer to the crowd on some songs. The set design was brilliant with a pyramid of video screens raining down from the rafters after the first song. The band itself did not talk to the audience much during the 2 hours. It was almost as if the show is so planned out with music and production that there just isn't time to engage in a conversation with the audience. The band did perform well. Matthew Bellamy's voice sounded as good as it did the last time the band was in Chicago. Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard also performed well each adding their personalities into the mix. There were some amazing moments of music too. At the conclusion of Hysteria right before the band played Animals, Bellamy came down onto the extension of the stage and performed an interpretation of part of the Star Spangled Banner on guitar to an extremely loud roar of cheers from all over the arena, as if to pay tribute to the country (USA) that really has become a second home to the band. Just after Knights of Cydonia, Wolstenholme alone in the light on the stage began Monty Jam with a harmonica solo that got everyone clapping along. Overall, it was a fantastic grandioso, innovative, exciting musical experience from beginning to end showcasing one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
Song wise, some highlights of the 2 hour set included: Panic Station, Resistance, Hysteria, Knights of Cydonia, Follow Me, Madness, Uprising, and an encore featuring Starlight and Survival.
MUSE @ United Center, Chicago, IL on March 5th 2013 Setlist
(Star-Spangled Banner intro)
(Man with a Harmonica intro)
(Rage Against the Machine's Freedom outro)
The 2nd Law: Isolated System