Sunday, November 22, 2009

MUSE, oh, and a day in Lyon

Breakfast/Le petit dejourner restored my soul.
The french know how to do breakfast, and for that matter lunch. Probably dinner too, but I'm going to go to McDonalds for dinner tonight so I won't judge them on that. That'll be 2 country's maccas Alanna... 2 more to go.

Well today I had no plan whatsoever. After breakfast, I simply walked out the front door of the hotel and let the streets of Lyon pave the way. Luckily, the hotel has a safe in my room so I was free to store my passport and documents in there while I ventured into the city. I'm but a block from the Rhone so soon enough, I stumbled across it. A few stalls lined the esplanade, some with cheeses, others with fresh produce. Directly across the river was the Halles du Justice, and they were quite the imposing buildings. I wandered across one of the bridges/ponts then through streets, rues, places, til I came across a hill. At the top of the hill I could see a magnificent building, but even so I had no idea which road would lead to it. Wandering up the hill, before I got to the building, I stumbled across some Roman-Gaulish ruins. The original mozaic was still there at the base of one of the stadia, housing marble imported from literally around the world. Where the wall used to stand now stretched out the vista of Lyon, across the Rhone and covering the hills below.

My walk continued to the peak of the hill, where I discovered that it was a cathederal observatory. At the base there were some interesting staircases, but they were behind some gates of a sort. Looking surrepticiously in both directions, and finding myself alone, I vaulted the fence (being careful not to impale my crown jewels on the spikes), and investigated. Finding a nice spot, I took some photos of myself, using my camera's timer feature, then re-vaulted the fence, leaving nary a trace behind.

I ventured into the cathederal, where the end of a mass was talking place. The acoustics were incredible and the small choir was perfectly in tune. Vaulted ceilings decorated with gold leaf glistened as I reverently stepped into the back, nodding to the padre in his clean white robes. Awestruck would be the word, I think.

After a brief moment of solemn introspection (yeah, right), I ventured back out into the wet, and stood viewing the entirety of Lyon. It is a truly beautiful city, and I think Melbourne has a little of it's ambience (that's OMbiONcE). My feet were a little tired after the walk up the hill, so I found a cable car station and decended into the city, changing for the metro. I found a cafe which had a suitable a la carte menu, and ordered myself a Salade Lyonnais (I mean, what else was I going to order). C'estait Delicieaux. Also, COTES DU RHONE VIN ROUGE which didn't cost me one of my already mortgaged kidneys. YES. OUI OUI OUI.

One quick aside, I've noticed that French people tend to be either extremely beautiful, or extremely ugly - there appears to be no middle ground whatsoever. And it's a fairly even split. I've also decided that Alex looks french. I know a lot of Alexes, so I'll leave it up to you to decide who that is... and if they fall into the beautiful catagory, or not...

So here we are, back at the hotel, catching a breath and taking a moment. I'll leave it here a moment, as the big event (and what I term the "excuse" for a world trip), the Muse Concert, is in just under 3 hours. When I return, I'll give you a brief update before bed. I think I'll have them serve breakfast in my room tomorrow.


Truly amazing. Muse always know how to put on a show, and by jove, did they live up to their reputation. Lady Luck once again smiled on me and I scored a place just in front of the media centre and before the D. Centre position, no tall people in front of me. Couldn't ask for much more. Before they started the warm up band played and they were pretty darn good. The crowd gave them a faithful cheer (PERTH LEARN A LESSON HERE) for each of their songs and clapped to some of their more rockin beats. The lights went on though and the tension built as apparent windows of light came on in three pillars, before the covers dropped to reveal the three band members, Matt, Dom and Chris as three statues of ancient heroes. The real set though started with Uprising, which while a good single, didn't really rev the crowd up (and by that I mean they simply stayed a dull roar), and as the pillars decended and they played Resistance next I thought for a moment they might do the album in order, but before long they pulled out New Born and the crowd lapped it up. Next came Map of the Problematique, and the most incredible laser light show I have ever seen.

The pure spectacle of it. Bellamy returned to his pillar, now complete with piano, and as it rose again above the level of the masses, he began to play Feelin Good, and as his fingers hit the keys squares of light would blink inside the grand piano and reflect out to the audience off the glass cover. Continuing with the piano from atop their pedestals, the band continued onto the propaganda-like United States of Eurasia. The visuals on the prism-like screens added to the scene by proclaiming unity while the lyrics rang out "These wars can't be won!" As the stage crew removed a grand piano pronto, Dom and Chris shared a moment centre stage on a revolving platform doing a rocking bass and drums duo. Muse then continued through MK Ultra (I'm still picking that one as the next single Lewi, it killed over The Resistance), Hysteria, Undisclosed Desires, Supermassive Black Hole, Unnatural Selection ("Hey"..."Hey"..."Hey") and Starlight. And just when you thought it was over (pfft, always an encore - this time being shouted by French people, saying... um... encore) they returned with Exogenesis: Overture (which still sounded amazing, even minus the live orchestra), and my personal highlight of the evening, as one of the little impromptu or unpublished things they do in between songs, a museified version of the theme from Once Upon a Time in the West, which led into the Grand Finale, Knights of Cydonia. Gave me goosebumps, all over. This is why Muse are my favourite band, and why I'm willing to use them as an excuse to travel to the opposite side of the world.


  1. Very nice :) You have such a nice way of making the world sound more alive.

  2. well you always did have a way with words!