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8 p.m. Thursday, September 14. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard)

By this point in Muse's career, comparing the band to Radiohead is a lazy move — at best. Whereas the latter thrives on atmosphere and subtlety (or enigma and experimentation), the former announces its presence via pure sensory overload. Brutal fretwork (which is arguably way more metallic than many "real" metal bands), beehive-quivering piano and sci-fi prog-geekery explode like a mad scientist tinkering with a supercollider. This year's Black Holes and Revelations is the trio's poppiest and most ambitious endeavor yet: a mincing Rufus Wainwright imitation, the new-wave piano ballad "Starlight" and even an electro-goth song reminiscent of H.I.M. (seriously) diversify the bombast. Muse's live spectacle, of course, is not to be missed: The overwhelming wall of sound created by vocalist Matt Bellamy's yowls and clashing guitars blows the mind via its brute force.

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