5 Stars from the Guardian

5 stars

Stadium gigs are notoriously anti-climactic: celebrating your favourite band's big moment usually means putting up with sound that bounces around like a tin can in a washing machine and horrific queues should you dare to leave your seat. You can often wish you had stayed at home, alone, with an iPod playlist instead.

But, following a £900m makeover, Wembley Stadium makes the grade for Muse fans. George Michael got here first, but few are more suited than Muse to take on what Pele once described as the "cathedral of football". Baroque and grandiose, theatrical and space-age, the Devon three-piece's epic sound has been destined to reach these giddy heights since the release of their first album, Showbiz, in 1999. Following the success of last year's Black Holes and Revelations, they are, as frontman Matt Bellamy gleefully points out: "The first artists to sell out Wembley fucking Stadium!"

The trio appear in a puff of smoke and confetti in the middle of the pitch. Striding down a runway to the stage, Bellamy wears a cherry-red suit, drummer Dom Howard sports acid green trousers and bassist Chris Wolstenholme favours a sober grey outfit. Surrounded by huge satellites, neon antennas and large white balloons, the renowned sci-fi geeks tear into the pomp and fantasy of Knights of Cydonia. Giant screens project pixelated images of the band and crowd, who collectively throw their hands in the air, while a trombone player gives temporary respite from the breathless pace.

Despite the futuristic set, Muse spend the next two hours revisiting their past; from Sunburn, the first song off the first album, to the apocalyptic City of Delusion, the tender Soldier's Poem and their most recent song, a cover of the Shadows' Man of Mystery. "How's it going Wembley?' asks Howard. "You look like you're having a good time. We are."

They put on a dazzling show, with flames, fireworks, glitter and graceful dancers spinning below suspended balloons, but their most impressive achievement is making such a vast venue feel so intimate. Bellamy, swapping between guitar and piano, is especially keen to reach fans at the back of the stadium, dedicating Starlight to them. He need not have worried. Every song is a mass singalong and when Bellamy asks everyone to hold up their mobiles, Wembley turns into a twinkling constellation of lights. Two encores later, Muse end with a triumphant Take a Bow, having turned the new stadium into a cosy second home.

Betty Clarke