Muse secret show @ The Electric Ballroom

Muse @ The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London, 11th September

Muse - pic Natasha Stevens

Muse - The Electric Ballroom

The moment I saw Matt Bellamy wring the first notes of “Plug In Baby” from his space-age Manson guitar on TV, my destiny was set in stone. Over a decade later - despite my efforts to assert myself as an original, innovative guitarist - my core sound revolves around Matt’s signature combination of a Digitech Whammy and a Z Vex Fuzz Factory. Whilst the application is different, Muse’s influence on me has never diminished.

In fact, many of our fans not only notice this, but found us through word of mouth amongst Muse fans (self-referred to as “Musers”). On Friday September 11th, this mutual adoration led to the opportunity of a lifetime. I woke up to a message from a Muser friend, telling me to run to The Electric Ballroom - Muse were set to play a secret show down the road from my flat! Needless to say, it was a dream come true - beyond a dream. Of course, I ran faster than I really should in my state of health, and a few hours later I was at arm’s length from Matt Bellamy as he tore into the Van Halen-esque intro of Reapers.

Muse - pic Natasha Stevens

Unlike the shows I attended on the 2nd Law Tour, Muse elected to stay in 5th gear far beyond the opening salvo, following up with a sucker punch of Psycho, Hysteria, The Handler (my personal favourite Muse track to date - testimony to their startling return to form on Drones) and Plug In Baby.

When Supermassive Black Hole felt like a rest stop, it became startlingly apparent that this really is a return to the adrenaline onslaught of Origin of Symmetry and Absolution - a change of pace that seemed to be unequivocally approved by the many veterans in the audience. It’s easy to forget that it was only a year ago when classics such as Hysteria and Stockholm Syndrome were rotated in favour of lighter, poppier numbers like Undisclosed Desires and Guiding Light.

Although there were rumours of this show mirroring the legendary Tokyo Zepp secret show in 2013 in which long-lost b-sides and rarities were given an airing - including the second performance of Futurism, fans on Reddit and Setlist fm felt short-changed by the lack of rarities, besides the surprise inclusion of early b-side Agitated. However, it’s safe to say that no-one who witnessed this rare intimate encounter left disappointed.

Muse - pic Natasha Stevens