Muse started out as a bunch of moody, Radiohead-esque indie kids that liked to rock out.
Early single Muscle Museum, with its alarmingly depressing video full of miserable people crying their eyes out, was all operatic vocals and throbbing bass before breaking into a distorted guitar-driven yelp of a chorus.
In the space of six albums, though, they’ve become one of the biggest, most ambitious and, in the live arena, downright spectacular bands the UK’s produced in the last decade.
They returned in September with The 2nd Law – which had only a modicum of dubstep influences on it after a teaser trailer on their official website had fans all aflutter that they’d ‘done a Skrillex’.
Eschewing dubstep directions, what it did have was the band’s trademark towering bombast.
Lead single Madness was a minimal, stripped back affair, lead by Chris Wolstenholme’s rumbling bass and Matt Bellamy’s startling low-key vocals and solo.
Dig deeper on the record, though, and it’s quite plain to see the ambition that has characterised their output so far – rocking out in videos on warships or playing gigs in space, as well as turning the live show up all the way to 11 – has not been left by the wayside.
For Muse, performance and making an impression is everything – you’re unlikely to find them sitting atop bar stools murmuring away for an acoustic vibe, but highly likely to see them shooting lasers out of their guitar necks.
New Born, Plug In Baby, Time Is Running Out, Starlight, The 2nd Law’s single Madness – these are contemporary rock classics, and live they take on a whole new life.
The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
Oct 26-27 | Doors at 6pm | £45+
Tube | North Greenwich
Gig: Tenacious D
Joke bands are a dangerous thing – for every Spinal Tap, there’s a Darkness (they’re a joke, right?).
But Jack Black and Kyle Gass’s Tenacious D are a cut above – informed, as the Tap before them, by a love and passion for the music they are, only in part, mocking. Expect a raucous rock ‘n’ roll riot to rival Muse. And funnier.
Wed, Oct 24. 7pm £38.50
45 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QH
Tube | Hammersmith
Club Antichrist: Night of the Undead
This Halloween party will see 1500 revellers descend on London’s biggest alternative-fetish night, which now boasts 10 rooms of indulgence.
Dubstep-metal crossover act Subsource, theatrical stage show The Shanklin Freakshow, and a fashion show from latex label Rubber Monkey are the highlights.
Fri Oct 26. 8pm-6am £23+
1 Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5NQ
Tube | Vauxhall
Club: Secretsundaze Halloween Party
Tech star Shed, San Proper, up-and-coming London house DJ BLM, and residents Giles Smith and James Priestley are the acts confirmed for this second Halloween show from the SecretSundaze crew, who moved up from the Village Underground last year to this new Shoreditch warehouse space.
Sat Oct 27. 9pm-6am £9.50+
13 Hearn Street, EC2A 7NN
Station | Shoreditch High Street
Gig: Tame Impala
Perth-birthed Kevin Parker’s band of pysch-rock experimentalists returned this month with sophomore LP Lonerism and the radio-smashingly ace lead single Elephant.
They’ve added up some extra layers of noodling and synthscapes to the hypnotic dream pop-rock of their debut, Innerspeaker, too.
Tues Oct 30. 7pm £17.50
211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL
Tube | Brixton
Club: Crossfire Halloween Massacre
XFM’s Eddy Temple Morris, Stereotype, Sweet Dreams, Johnny Doom and Matt Stocks are some of the acts confirmed for this bash on the Thames.
Hip-hop, dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass, plus classic rock and party tunes and a Titanic nautical theme, make this one of the more unique and OTT Halloween parties out there.
Sat Oct 27. 8pm-late £15
Tideaway Dock, SW8 5PZ
Tube | Battersea Park
Gig: The Mutton Birds
These Nineties Kiwi indie-poppers, who called it a day in 2002, returned earlier this year for a smattering of shows back home.
After a decade in the wilderness, and with the original line-up of Don McGlashan, Ross Burge and David Long, they’re back over here to smash through hits like Dominion Road and The Heater.
Sat Oct 27. 7.30pm £20
Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Tube | Shepherd’s Bush