It has been A busy year for Moses. The legendary British rock trio is gearing up to release their ninth studio gig this week. Will of the peoplewhich arrived because the band are two-thirds of the way through a tour of 30 shows that watched them play with up to 90,000 fans in huge stadiums along the European Summer Festival circuit.
However, the tour began in front of 220 enthusiastic enthusiasts at the Cavern Club in Exeter, England, earlier this spring. The underground venue in the heart of this historic university town was where the first live concert since Covid took place. It’s also the same stage in which they got their start in the mid-’90s.
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The Homecoming Special was facilitated by a partnership with Jim Beam Welcome Sessions – a global campaign by the Bourbon brand to celebrate the role that live music plays in building strong communities. “When [Beam] We got closer, the idea of community spirit really resonated with us,” explains drummer Dom Howard Moses. “We’re a band coming from a small town where nothing happens. And it meant so much to us when we started – that they gave us a platform to get where we are.”
“We were very fortunate to have such a strong group of friends who came to see us play,” adds guitarist Chris Wolstenholme. A lot of bands don’t have that. A lot of bands spend years and years playing at all no one. We had a great venue with the Cavern Club who welcomed us again and again; I think we played there 32 times over the course of five years. Over those five years the community has grown within Exeter, Devon and Cornwall and that’s really what pushed [us]. “
In fact, with the release of their first album, showbizIn 1999, Muse became one of the UK’s most exciting acts. International stardom soon followed. They haven’t been back in Exeter since… until the evening of April 7, 2022. “It was surreal to be back at Cavern Club,” Howard says. “It was like going back in time.”
“We knew there had to be a launch event to start it all [Welcome Sessions] The campaign,” frontman Matt Bellamy recalls from growing up the party. “We went back and forth on some ideas and when Jim Beam suggested a reboot in The Cavern, it seemed like the perfect way to reinforce the campaign’s idea of community. What better place than a cave where we’ve played for a really long time and got a break? “
“Personally, I prefer playing in slightly smaller venues, anyway,” Wolstenholme admits. “You can see the whites of people’s eyes and you can hear everything they say and [observe] Emotions on their faces. You tend to play the bigger shows because obviously you can reach more people.”
Here they were competing just the opposite. To keep the Exeter party as secret as possible, the lucky fans in attendance were chosen through a ballot that promised nothing but exclusive participation in the ‘South West of England’. They were the first to see new material from the upcoming album go live, including the singles “Won’t Stand” and “Compliance”. For their part, the band members were happy to play together anything In front of a real crowd again.
“It’s been the longest we haven’t done a show,” Howard says of the two-and-a-half-year hiatus caused by the Covid virus. “The longest time before that was seven months. You can practice for years, but it doesn’t matter, because it won’t make you ready for how you feel when you’re doing a party. It’s a different experience when you have people watching you and the energy in the room.”
“Overall we were excited, but nervous. Once we did that, and we got three songs, we were like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s cool, isn’t it?’ He adds. ‘We really missed that.’ It’s hard to explain how you feel on stage. It’s a strange, unique, present and incredible experience that you get when you perform, especially if people like it. It’s nonsense if they don’t like it [laughs]. But when it’s good, it really is truly Good and that party was particularly good and very fun to play.”
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It was an unconventional tour for the group this summer, hitting the road Before To release an album instead of directly supporting it. after, after Will of the people Fall, Moses heads to North America for what Bellamy refers to as “a handful of small theatrical performances in October,” before the larger stadium kicks off in the spring and summer of 2023.
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As for their partnership with Jim Beam, the welcome sessions culminate in another special engagement, this time at their Claremont, Kentucky distillery. On October 8, Muse will take the stage to select fans who can win an invitation through an online sweepstakes. “I’ve never been to Kentucky before,” Bellamy says. “So I’m looking forward to performing there.”
For a band that has become so widely associated with an arena-sized bone, it remains surprisingly receptive to intimacy — despite the fact that it comes with its own set of challenges.
“The thing that worried me the most—and I didn’t really think about it until we got on stage—was how young It was, says Wolstenholme, from his return to the underground place where his career began. “I realized that was the kind of usual move I am [now] Usually I do on stage – moving back and forth – I was constantly coming back to the dom drum set. I was smashing a headstock into my guitar on the edge of the PA. And I’m like, ‘Fuck, I have to stay here. I literally can’t move or I’m going to collapse.’
“With the stadium shows and the track shows, we have these massive stages to run on and I’m totally used to it,” he says with a laugh. Starting from the bottom. Now they are here.
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