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.