Oh yes! It was good! Muse visited Finland and Hartwall Arena in 06/2016 as part of their Drones world tour. I had bought tickets already in september 2015 when they came on sale… and still you had to hit reload vigorously until you managed to get any seats, let alone good ones. On top of that plane tickets from Norwegian and a night at Sokos Hotel Vaakuna had to be put in the budget.
I shot FULL HD (1080p) videos with my iPhone 6S and placed 12 of them on YouTube (there’s two in the end of this post for starters).
The band was brilliant, simply astonishing! Without a doubt the best gig I’ve been to. It was a combination of the best songs in the world with the best live playing and visual fireworks. Matt Bellamy is an outright virtuoso. It’s not enough for this little fellow to make earth-shattering songs, just watch him play and sing – you wouldn’t believe it unless you’d see it with your own eyes. Arena had probably one of the best audio installations it has ever seen. Even the acoustics worked surprisingly well (and I’ve heard it a couple of times before, even with my own music).
But not all was perfect, but a strong 9/10 nevertheless. And why not? First of all, two of my very favorite songs were missing; Big Freeze and Undisclosed Desires (see the full setlist here). Secondly, the sheer amount of routine it takes to play night after night is visible in every aspect of the show. It’s so flawless, polished and synchronized that you can almost sense how every step is pre-calculated. Today the show starts “Hello Helsinki” and tomorrow “Hellou Moscow”, otherwise it’s all the same. I for one would like to see some “roughness” in the show. In addition I wouldn’t let the crew start to disassemble the stage at a moment when I can still see the back of Bellamy’s head just as it slips away in to the arena’s closed premises.
This summer’s other treats
Other interesting bands this summer would’ve been Provinssirock summer festival’s Rammstein and the upcoming Flow Festival, completely due to Sia. The local Qstock would have Prodigy (big fan of the older material). Too bad everything has a steep price. When you leave from Oulu you run easily into the 400-500 euro range in total (travels, accommodation and tickets). Too much.
My history of gigs
I haven’t been to that many gigs in my life. To sum it up quickly: 06/2004 and Helsinki Hockey Arena with G3 (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Robert Fripp), 06/2009 and Bruce Springsteen at Tampere Stadium with 32 000 other people and 11/2014 with In Flames at Helsinki Hockey Arena. I should go more often. And festivals, I actually haven’t even been to one 😀