Muse! Doing their songs! As soon as I knew they’d be in Australia when I was, I looked up the dates. They tour the country more quickly than the cricket does, so only Adelaide matched the two, but that match was perfect, with the gig the night before the first day.
The entertainment centre is in the Northwest of the city and doing the whole trip on public transport involved a trip to the centre and another one back out, so I hopped off the bus at the Oval and walked the last couple of miles. At around 7 in the evening, the sun was out and my route was following the Torrens river; just a glorious wander. It was all very quiet, easy to imagine that I had the wrong venue. Finally, after a wander past the eclectic SA brewing company’s Christmas riverside show, I spotted the first person in a Muse top and knew for sure it was right. Apparently the centre takes up to 12000, which is similar to Wembley Arena, where I saw Muse two years ago. It seemed smaller, though, and quieter. Most of the audience were in to see the support act, Birds of Tokyo, which is unlike my experience of their UK dates. Unlike the O2, there didn’t seem to be a dialled down volume setting for the support. It’s also less cavernous – from my seat at the side the people in the standing morass were more than dots.
Muse themselves seemed a bit off it, at least until the encore, missing a few chords and with a microphone that needed to be right by the mouth, meaning we missed the odd line. I’d picked a seat when I could have stood, thinking that standing would be a younger man’s game, but actually the atmosphere down there looked great, without the riotous feel I’ve seen elsewhere. Up at the side almost no one was moved to get up and move around, so I ought to have gone for the standing area. Good but not great.