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.
Cage The Elephant:
Music lovers that haven't heard of Cage the Elephant have probably heard their hit single "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" on the radio or TV. Those same lovers are probably also missing out on Cage the Elephant's amazing concert dates. This Kentucky band is a group up-and-coming stars who are bringing a much needed kick to mainstream music through their folksy yet rocking beats and frenzied tour dates. Their style is a unique blend of bluegrass, punk, and rock that has been garnering attention from both fans and critics. For those people who have heard and enjoyed "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked", there's good news in the form of tour dates for 2011.
Cage the Elephant was formed by brothers Matthew and Brad Schultz in 2006. Their sound was almost immediately a hit and gained the band a concert date at the 2007 Lollapalooza, immediately following Lady Gaga's breakout performance at the festival. It wasn't until they played at the South By Southwest Festival that Cage the Elephant were signed to UK record label Relentless Records, eventually relocating there. Their debut eponymous album was released in June of 2008 in the UK and almost a year later in the US to positive reviews. Shortly after, the single "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" began to circulate as a hit single and the band began to play concert dates with a number of UK and US bands, including The Pigeon Detectives and Manchester Orchestra. Cage the Elephant returned to play a tour date at Lollapalooza in 2009 as well as playing the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco and Bonnaroo in Tennessee.
Cage the Elephant's new album, Thank You Happy Birthday, was released in January of 2011 and has prompted the current 2011 tour dates with superstars The Black Keys. The two bands share a similar bluegrass sound, as well as the energy they both expend on stage. The concert dates will kick off in Cage the Elephant's home away from home of London on March 23, with tour dates in 2011 extending into July. Part of Cage the Elephant's meteoric rise to fame is due to their energetic tour dates, where the band's members visibly play like it's their last night on Earth. While Cage the Elephant won't be opening for The Black Keys on every tour date in 2011, the shows with The Black Keys are selling out fast, so buy tickets soon.