Photo Set: Muse @ Madison Square Garden

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Muse began their filled-to-the-rafters show at Madison Square Garden with a bang: elevated on towering platforms that were lit up like Christmas trees, the band tore into “Uprising,” the first single from their latest album,

. A Muse show is much like a rock opera — you get all the theatrics, but the music is loud enough to thrum in your chest. And, like a proper rock opera, there followed fist pumps and head banging, but without any hardcore crowd surfing.

Mixing the old with the new, outfitted in a very shiny suit front man Matt Bellamy, segued from their latest and most slow-tempo single, “The Resistance,” into old favorite and hard-driving, “New Born.” Wholly comfortable on a giant, round stage, Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenholme strode back and forth, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with intense solos; in that respect “Hysteria” wins best solo of the night, hands down. Confined to his drum kit, Dom Howard contended to spin around lazily on his rotating platform and show his best side to everyone at least twice.

For their rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” the band took once more to their platforms — Bellamy’s outfitted with his grand piano — and soothed the audience with bee and flower imagery. A massive sing-along and synchronized claps followed in “Starlight.”

Lasers beamed across the cavernous ceiling of the Garden and giant inflated eye-ball balloons filled with confetti were brought out during “Unnatural Selection.” The encore of the massive-sounding “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Knights of Cydonia,” which saw Wolstenholme take up a harmonica, was rounded out with several geyser blasts of refreshing mist. Not something you’d see at an opera house!

All photos courtesy of Olga Bas.