Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Recap: Corin Tucker Steps Out at Maxwell's; Muse Puts on a Rock Show at The Rock

This weekend I saw concerts by two very different acts in two settings that couldn't be further apart. But both shows were very enjoyable: The Corin Tucker Band at Maxwell's in Hoboken and Muse at Newark's Prudential Center (a.k.a. The Rock).

Tucker, part of the much-loved past (and probably future) trio Sleater-Kinney, is on her first tour with her own band and a new album, emerging after taking several years off to raise her children. She headlined an early CMJ showcase at Maxwell's, playing tunes from TCTB's new album "1,000 Years." It was a high-energy set, often capturing the power of S-K.

Corin Tucker and Sara Lund of The Corin Tucker Band at Maxwell's on Saturday. 
If you're a fan of Sleater-Kinney or Tucker, you'll want to catch The Corin Tucker Band at Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday, Oct. 26th. Opening are Darren Hanlon and Hungry Ghost, which features Sara Lund, the drummer in TCTB.

The British trio Muse played Newark Sunday night and put on an old-fashioned rock show spectacle, complete with lasers, individual stages that moved up and down, and giant confetti-filled "eyeball" balloons bouncing through the crowd.

From its opening song, Muse made it clear that Prudential Center fans were in for a rock spectacle.
Although Muse is a huge international success I hadn't heard many songs by them; I went to the show partly to check them out and partly to see the opener, Metric, one of my favorite bands of recent years. (Metric played only half an hour, but it was well worth showing up early to see them.)

Matthew Bellamy takes a turn at the piano.

Muse during its finale at the Prudential Center Sunday.
Special effects aside, Muse put on a very enjoyable show. They play catchy rockers that are often reminiscent of Radiohead, mixing elements of alt rock with prog rock and other genres. I've heard that Jimi Hendrix was an influence on guitarist and singer Matthew Bellamy, and at one point he even played  "The Star-Spangled Banner" solo on his guitar. Muse played songs from its latest album "The Resistance" as well as previous works.

Although most live music I see these days is in clubs or small- to medium-sized venues, it's fun to see an old-style extravagant arena-rock show, and Muse certainly delivered.

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