In the late 90's, few English alternative rock bands struggled as hard to emerge from the shadow of Radiohead as Muse. Despite an initial similarity in sound, the members of Muse have made a name for themselves in the music world with their unique blending of musical styles and elaborate tour dates. While more of a recent development, Muse's concert dates in 2011 have featured incredible moving stages, intense lighting effects, and visually striking instruments. Their signature sound has sold well over ten million albums worldwide and garnered them heaps of awards and critical acclaim. In recent years, Muse has also become known for their innovative and elaborate live performances, including a few remaining concert dates in 2011.
Muse began in Teignmouth, Devon, under the name Gothic Plague. The band was started by drummer Dominic Howard while attending Teignmouth Community College in the early 90s. However, after Bellamy suggested moving from a cover band to an original one, Howard, Chris Wolstenholme, and Matthew Bellamy were all that remained. After winning a local battle of the bands, the trio quit school and their jobs, moved to London, and changed the band name to Muse. Muse's 1999 EP, Muscle Museum, became a hit with the title track reaching #3 on the indie singles charts and experiencing rotation on the radio. Despite playing tour dates throughout the UK, Muse's lack of success prompted them to move to the US.
Shortly after, Muse signed with Maverick Records and recorded their first full-length album, Showbiz, later in 1999. The album's theme revolved around Muse's struggle to achieve commercial success and featured a softer style than what the band would become known for. Muse drastically changed their style on their next album, Origin of Symmetry, which was originally released in 2001. The album features a more experimental sound achieved with an expanded drum kit and mellotron, as well as Bellamy's signature falsetto voice. The success of the album prompted a number of headlining and supporting tour dates, which began a habit of continuously playing concert dates. Muse saw their success grow even more with the release of Absolution in 2003. While comparisons with Radiohead were still common, critics praised the album and its sound regardless of any musical similarities. Muse experienced similar success with their 2006 album, Black Holes and Revelations, despite the risky experimentation with style on the album.
Muse's latest album, Resistance, was released in 2009 to resoundingly positive reviews. It became the group's third #1 album in the UK and reached #3 on the Billboard 200, it's highest charting in the United States. The album also won Muse their first Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. After taking a break from extended tour dates, Muse has hinted at a new album for late 2011. The band also has a few scheduled concert dates left for 2011, including tour dates at a number of music festivals around the world. After playing the LA Rising concert date with Rage Against the Machine on July 30, Muse will play tour dates at Kanrocksas in Kansas City and the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco on August 13. Muse is set to end their 2011 concert dates at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, where they will play the entire album, Origin of Symmetry, in honor of its 10th anniversary.
Thirty Seconds to Mars:
30 Seconds to Mars have been lurking in the background of mainstream music for over ten years now, supported by a huge fan base and colossal musical style. The group's epic style can't be categorized by one genre of music and falls somewhere between progressive and alternative rock. It's this electronic, alternative, indie rock sound that has built 30 Second to Mars a huge fan base at tour dates around the world (known as The Echelon) and created three hit records. While the group's members haven't even confirmed that they'll make another album, there are plenty of tour dates in 2011 to keep fans satiated.
In 1998, brothers Jared and Shannon Leto began playing together and writing songs in their spare time. With Jared playing rhythm guitar and providing vocals and Shannon on drums, they were soon joined by Kevin Drake on lead guitar (although he was replaced by Solon Bixler before the recording of their debut album, and later by Tomo Millicevic). The band continued to be merely a hobby for the group's members as they played local tour dates throughout Los Angeles. In 2001, the group was rounded out with the addition of Matt Watcher as a bassist, keyboardist, and the group's signature synthesizer.
After playing tour dates around Los Angeles for years, 30 Seconds to Mars were signed to Virgin Records in early 2001. They released their self-titled, debut album in 2002 and was full of sci-fi themes, emotional lyrics, and a hard rock sound. The album received great reviews and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. 30 Seconds to Mars reached the next musical plateau with the release of their second album, A Beautiful Lie, in 2005. The album produced four hit singles that received play on radio stations and tour dates; most notably "The Kill," which became a fixture on radios and television. The group's third album, This is War, was released in late 2009 but almost wasn't released at all, due to a lawsuit by Virgin Records. The album marked a change in 30 Seconds to Mars' sound, which was darker with a new wave infusion. The singles "Kings and Queens" and "This Is War" were both popular and both reached #1 in the Alternative Songs charts.
With three successful albums out, fans are curious as to when an announcement of new music will come. To relieve some of the anxiety, 30 Seconds to Mars has plenty of international tour dates in 2011, including concert dates at some of the summer's biggest music festivals. The first concert date is on May 22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and will pick up again on June 4 in Chicago. Music festival tour dates in 2011 will include Novarock in Austria, the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, the Hove Festival in Norway, the Highfield Festival in Germany, and appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Regular tour dates will occur primarily in European nations like Italy, Greece, and the UK, with a June 15 concert date in Paris already sold out.