Rolling Stone

Lyrical communion

Muse Fosters Community Between the Lines of Your Favorite Song

- Written by Kwasi Boadi

In our second Welcome Sessions feature with Jim Beam, we dig beneath the live music frills to explore how strangers in the crowd become quick friends by talking to the supergroup and their most passionate fans

There’s something so communal about going to a Muse show. The experience has a way of inducing a unique catharsis. On the one hand, it’s hard to ignore the tremendous feeling of it all, from the hypnotizin­g laser light show to the rousing pyrotechni­cs and the otherworld­ly visuals.

But beneath the (literal) ash and frills lies something much more intimate. Fans are embracing, sts are pumping, and in spurts, the audience takes on the role of lead vocalist while they roar the lyrics of their favorite records. In these moments, complete strangers become part of something much larger than themselves because there’s community to be found between the lines of your favorite song.

“Nothing beats being in the crowd with music fans when

you don’t know what the setlist is,” says self-proclaimed

superfan Helen Rose Tooth. “When they start bringing out

the songs, and bring out some rarities, and everybody just

comes together, you get picked up by the atmosphere.”

Rolling Stone caught up with Rose Tooth and a host

of other Muse diehards at a secret homecoming show

in Exeter, Devon. Hosted by Jim Beam as part of their

Welcome Sessions event series, the intimate gig brought

Muse superfans back to the Cavern, a cozy music venue in

the South West of England where the band started out by

playing for some of its earliest supporters: friends, family,

and classmates.

When asked about her favorite song to see live, it only takes Rose Tooth a moment to land on “De nitely ‘Knights of Cydonia’” as her answer. Tom Kirk, a longtime friend of the band, doubles down on the sentiment. “’Knights of Cydonia’ is the ultimate fan singalong. I don’t think Matt needs to even stretch his vocal cords for that anymore because the whole crowd in the arena or festival [is] just bellowing it out. It’s an electrical force of people being completely tuned into the moment like nothing else exists.”

It’s easy to hear why the record elicits a range of emotions from the Muse faithful. The song kicks o with a spellbindi­ng harmonica solo by bassist Chris Wolstenhol­me. Though everyone in the house knows what’s coming next, the anticipati­on builds like a roller coaster inching closer to its rst big drop. Then, at the perfect moment, Matt Bellamy sends the audience into an auditory free fall once he interjects with a few crackling strums of his electric guitar.

 ?? ?? Muse fans at The C avern for their Jim B eam Welcome Sessions homecoming show
Muse fans at The C avern for their Jim B eam Welcome Sessions homecoming show
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