On Friday we took the boys to their first gig, Muse at Wembley Stadium. Tracy's brother Jeremy joined us as well. As you probably know, if only from reading the blog, we are big Muse fans not least because we have been into them almost since they started. The boys have grown up listening to them and they are the most popular selection on their Ipods. When Muse announced the Wembley dates shortly after the O2 gig in November, Tracy thought it would be great to take the boys along and booked tickets (no mean feat considering that 84000 tickets sold out in 30 minutes). Like any event booked almost a year in advance, I don't think about it until a few weeks before and this one had come around quickly.
The boys were probably as excited to be going to Wembley as they were about seeing the show! We got there early to avoid Hanger Lane in the rush hour and so we could see the three support bands White Rabbits, Big Pink and Lily Allen. We saw Big Pink at the O2 and we have nearly seen Lily Allen twice supporting other bands but have arrived late. She is actually pretty good live and the boys liked her. I suspect that their enthusiasm for her was largely the result of her singing the not-suprisingly-ever-released-as-a-single track, F**k You. If you haven't heard it, it is a cheerful dittie with the title featuring repeatedly in every chorus. I had feared it would be on the set list and had been thinking of distramction tactics, but there was no escaping it and by the second chorus they were joining in with great delight!
So as the light faded and the Wembley arch was illuminated we looked forward to the headliners. Up to now Jake and Luke had been messing around as normal whereas Daniel had watched all of the bands and he was now standing in front of me as the lights went down and air raid sirens filled the stadium. Our excellent view from the wheelchair platform meant we could see the 20000 people standing below us punching the air in unison. The look on Daniel's face was priceless and as Muse launched into the opening track and the stadium was filled with lighting effects, he could barely contain himself. I feel quite emotional again just thinking about it! He certainly didn't need any encouragement to applaud at the end. Jake and Luke had also got into it and had danced (in the way you can imagine two excitable 9 year old boys would) throughout.
The show continued in the band's inimitable style, one anthem after another, and performances second to none. In so many ways they shouldn't have reached this level of popularity. What they do is the fusion of ProgRock compositions combined with GlamRock performance. Neither genre is credible in 2010 but it works and 83999 others seem to agree. Even when they reveal something that would have got Spinal Tap asking "is this a f**king joke? " they get away with it. The spectacle in question is a 40 foot wide, helium filled, silver flying saucer which emerges from over the top of the 100 foot high stage. As it floated high above the audience, a silver suited trapeze artist drops down from inside and commences an aerial performance before it floats back out of sight. Fortunately for him nobody got their feet and inches mixed up!
They played for almost 2 hours and the boys enjoyed every minute. It was fantastic to be able to take the boys to their first gig. The only problem is that their expectations for future gigs has been set rather high!