Muse gets a taste of Philadelphia

The band performs with openers Cage the Elephant at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 9.

As the English rock trio got ready to take the Wells Fargo stage Monday night in support of their latest album The 2nd Law, Muse had no idea what kind of energy they would receive from the anxious Philadelphia crowd. This was the first time that they would be performing in the city since the subsequent tour of their 2009 album, “The Resistance.”

After opening their set with the booming “Supremacy”, the opener off of The 2nd Law, they knew exactly what they were getting from this crowd.

Currently being one of the biggest rock acts in the world, a band like Muse typically wouldn’t have any problem with catching the attention of thousands of fans waiting with bated breath for that first tantalizing note. On Sept. 9 in Philadelphia, some people may have been singing a different tune.

Just about every single person in the entire arena had one eye on the stage and the other on their phone checking up to the minute scores of the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night game vs. the Washington Redskins.

It was a big night for Muse, but it was an even bigger night for Chip Kelly’s Eagles. This was the first game in 14 years that the Eagles took the field without Andy Reid.

More than half of the occupants of the stadium crowded around televisions to catch a bit of the game as Cage the Elephant, Muse’s opening band, finished their set and the stage crew began to prepare for the main act.

Philadelphia fared fairly well, winning the game 33 to 27, as Muse fared even better, feeding off of the energy of a crowd pleased with their new football coach. Matthew Bellamy, the English band’s frontman, gave a particularly energetic performance, including a Jimi Hendrix-like rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Cage the Elephant’s lead singer, Matt Shultz, was also feeling the brotherly love. After returning from crowd surfing during their new song “Teeth”, Shultz donned a Brian Dawkins jersey just before performing the band’s biggest song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” To no surprise, Shultz received raucous applause upon the crowd’s realization of his wardrobe adjustment.

Cage the Elephant is opening for Muse in support of their upcoming album, “Melophobia,” set to be released on Oct. 8. For an up and coming band with mild commercial success, they knew exactly how to appeal to a major market city like Philadelphia. Putting a Brian Dawkins jersey on is a good way to start.

As for the headliner, what little doubts they had about grabbing the attention of the audience were quickly diminished by the heavy hitting nature of the start of their set, which featured hard rocking hits like “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Hysteria,” and “Knights of Cydonia.”

The set list was by no means top-heavy, as some of the band’s biggest hits came towards the end of the night. Monster hits like “Madness,” “Time is Running Out,” and “Uprising,” comprised the later half of the set, with “Starlight” and “Time” encompassing the band’s thunderous encore.

On Monday night, Philly displayed to Muse that we show just as much passion for our music and we do for our sports.

Jared Phillips can be reached at

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